“Is this gun real?” asks Annie (Rachel McAdams), mockingly. “Oh no, Annie!’ replies Brooks (Kyle Chandler) as she pulls the trigger and fires off a real bullet. Surprised and scared, Annie drops the gun, causing it to go off and shoot her husband, Max (Jason Bateman). The accidental shooting makes Annie and Max realize their nights of friendly competition will never be the same in the action comedy film, Game Night.
In the R-rated film, Max and Annie host weekly couples game nights. They love being competitive with the other couples, and in fact it’s their shared competitiveness that drew them together in the first place. They are, however, trying to fade out their recently divorced next door neighbor Gary (Jesse Plemons) who’s a bit socially awkward and, at times, even a little creepy.
When Max’s brother Brooks comes to town, he asks to host the following week’s game night at his place. Brooks kicks game night up a notch when instead of playing a board game like Life or Monopoly, he arranges a murder mystery party complete with fake federal agents and thugs.
When Brooks is beaten up and kidnapped, everyone thinks it’s just part of the game…but is it? As the couples set out to find Brooks, Max, Annie, and their friends Sarah (Sharon Horgan), Ryan (Billy Magnussen), Kevin (Lamorne Morris), and Michelle (Kylie Bunbury) find themselves in over their heads as each new twist points to the kidnapping possibly being real which means they could all be in grave danger.
Game Night is a hilarious, laugh-out-loud comedy with a clever script and a superb comedic cast. Bateman and McAdams shine in this comedy caper as a couple who thrive on competition and love winning. Bateman and McAdams have great chemistry and play off each other wonderfully, with Bateman’s classic deadpan reactions to extreme situations and McAdams’ hysterical wide-eyed, quick scream reactions complimenting each other perfectly.
Jesse Plemons (Fargo, Breaking Bad) almost steals the film as Gary, Max and Annie’s odd, socially inept cop neighbor who truly misses spending Saturday nights playing games with his closest friends. His scenes are some of the funniest in the movie.
The script is sharp and original with a few twists the audience will never see coming. The directing team of John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein do a terrific job of balancing the slapstick antics, one-liners, and violence without ever losing the film’s light, comedic tone.
With a great ensemble cast and witty script, Game Night is one of the best comedies to come along in recent years. Anyone in need of a laugh would be advised to see it.
MPAA Rating: R for language, sexual references and some violence
Running Time: 100 minutes
Release Date: February 23, 2018