Comedy has been a difficult genre of late. There aren’t too many good straight comedies from the last few years, with most good ones falling into superhero, coming of age, or rom-com categories. The ones we’ve been left with have been the likes Daddy’s Home, Rough Night, The Boss and Snatched. So Game Night is a great relief as a hilarious, pure comedy.
Starring Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams as Max and Annie, a married couple who host a weekly game night for their friends, things go more of the rails when Max’s brother Brooks (played by Kyle Chandler) organises a murder mystery esq night and the kidnapping turns real. We then follow the group as they try to locate him. One aspect I was worried about was whether they were going to spend a lot of the film trying to keep you guessing as to whether everything was part of the game or not, but thankfully this is something the quickly put out of your mind. Instead Game Night focuses on the pairings and their relationships. Max’s feelings of inadequacy next to his brother, and how it is affecting his and Annie’s attempts to have a child, being the key one. But mainly the film is a vehicle for the comedic talents of the cast, and the hilarious script.
Bateman can be a little hit and miss with his comedy films, but he showed with Arrested Development that he does have a wonder comedic ability, as well as being a brilliant actor. That, coupled with great chemistry with McAdams, means that they are able to bring the quick fire comedy, and ensuring that most of the jokes hit. Kyle Chandler as Max’s older brother is definitely believable as a cooler version of Jason Bateman’s character, and manages to separate himself from his role in Friday Night Lights, not something he’s always been able to do. Billy Magnussen, Sharon Horgan, Lamorne Morris, and Kylie Bunbury are all very good in their supporting roles as well. But it is Jesse Plemons, as Max and Annie’s police officer neighbour Gary, who steals almost every scene that he’s in. He is absolutely hysterical, and also manages to be slightly off putting.
Game Night manages to be a breath of fresh air in the comedy scene, with a great premise, that allows for the wonderfully talented cast to show off their comedic talents. It’s a fairly wild ride, with some great twists and turns, and most importantly will have you in stitches laughing.