By Adam Ray Palmer
This film has been out and about in theatres for a while now, and still in selected outlets if you’re trying to source it. I’ll be honest though, I was sceptical about this picture.
Directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein; Game Night stars Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Kyle Chandler, Jesse Plemons and Sharon Horgan.
Max (Bateman) and Annie (McAdams) are trying to have a baby; their doctor (Camille Chen) thinks stress might be affecting Max. The most stressful event looming is his brother, Brooks (Chandler), coming to town. They both share relentless rivalry, whether it is job, house or even past memories.
Max and Annie take part in ‘game night’ with their friends regularly, and this time, Brooks hosts an edition at his multi-million-dollar mansion. Brooks decides to up the ante on the festivities and things go dangerously awry with these ordinary folks finding themselves embroiled in an actual life-or-death criminal plot.
This belly-laugh comedy has a sharp script (with comic zingers in abundance), astute direction, and a well-balanced cast. The three starlets are quite clearly Bateman, McAdams and Jesse Plemons’ dead-eye cop Gary. Gary gets the most laughs by in fact doing the least. His dead-pan face alongside his monotone “I see you” comments are just scene stealers.
Max and Annie cannot be left without a mention though. The chemistry between Jason and Rachel is paramount. Their comic timing, their reactions to each other’s’ dialogue and their little quips. They are so believable to be an every day couple in love. Bateman is the usual straight man with subdued wit for days, but McAdams really opens herself up to be this comic genius. A scene where she is helping Jason fix up an injury is just gut-wrenchingly funny.
On the whole, writer Mark Perez and directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein have created a strong and structured story with little visual tricks that in fact, seem to be noteworthy. Game Night is raucous fun with genuine laughs and copious amounts of twists; it really is a ‘bloody comedy’ you don’t want to miss.
Cineroom’s rating: 4 stars
Game Night is out now worldwide in selected cinemas – certificate 15