Game Night Movie Review
Game Night was one of those movies that you see the poster of and automatically think, "Nah, I don't think I wanna see that". Fortunately for me, I saw the trailer and immediately knew I had to go see this film. Aside from the fact that I'm a huge fan of Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, the story seemed like it would be both interesting and funny, and I'm happy to say I was right.
The film follows Max, a game enthusiast that met the love of his life at the local bar's game night. He and Annie immediately fell in love and began hosting game nights of their own. Soon enough, the two were married and game night became a weekly tradition. One night, Max's rich and successful brother Brooks decided he wanted to visit and join in the fun. Brooks thought it'd be fun to set up a murder mystery game through the business Murder We Wrote. What starts as a pleasant evening soon turns catastrophic as actual kidnappers break into the home and take Brooks. Now Max, Annie, and their friends have to pull their wits together to save Brooks in what may well be the world's worst game night.
What I loved most about the film was its subtle usage of overview photography. They made the neighborhood look like a giant game board which was an absolutely brilliant idea. It gave you the sense of fun but also the sense of being trapped with nowhere to run. Directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein are relative newcomers to directing. Their first film was 2015's Vacation, which was a monstrous disappointment on so many levels. They certainly redeemed themselves with this film, and are scheduled to direct DC's Flashpoint in 2020 which I am now even more excited to see.
Another thing that I loved about Game Night was the cameos. They used relatively small-time actors that many people may know but can't quite think of more than one or two things they were in. For instance, Danny Huston, who is known for Wonder Woman and 21 Grams. People could look at him and be like "Oh I know that guy!" but they can't for the life of them remember what he was in. The other cameo is a nice surprise for Dexter fans, but anyone that hasn't seen the show might not be as excited as I was when he was shown.
The final element that made this film good was the humor. It wasn't trashy or raunchy humor, except for one or two jokes, but was actually smart. Sure, it had its token dumb blondes (one woman and one man) but it used their dumb qualities in a good way that mocked modern issues going on today. Rachel McAdams was the major player in this field, showing us a side of her that's rarely seen: wild, hilarious, and slightly ditzy. Usually, she's the down-to-earth, romantic, sly woman and it was nice to see a new side to her.
The only downside to the film was its predictability. There were a few moments where you could easily call out what would happen next and be correct. It wasn't that often thankfully. These moments didn't hurt the film as a whole, but did hurt that particular joke.
In conclusion, the film was near-perfect and for the most part didn't let me down. From the amazing cast, to the fun story to the great humor, it's a game that's a definite win for everyone. I give Game Night a 3.5 out of 4.
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© 2018 Alec Zander