Film Review: GAME NIGHT

Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Lamorne Morris, Billy Magnussen, and Kylie Bunbury in Game Night (2018)

Fresh, funny and playful, GAME NIGHT is a crime-comedy hybrid well worth playing along with

With comedies like HORRIBLE BOSSES (2011), HORRIBLE BOSSES 2 (2014) and VACATION (2015) to their name, I’ll admit that I wasn’t really looking forward to John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein’s new film GAME NIGHT. Don’t get me wrong, the pair are clearly talented filmmakers but their particular brand of ‘daft’ comedy isn’t usually my cup of tea… or is it?

GAME NIGHT tells the story of Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams) a normal suburban couple who like to gather their friends together for a regular weekly game night. When Max’s charismatic brother, Brooks (Kyle Chandler) comes to town, he decides to arrange a murder mystery party to kick the competition a notch. However, it soon turns out that the planned game night wasn’t what was on the cards and a fight for survival begins.

Combining the drama of a thriller with the fun and humour of a rom-com, GAME NIGHT is a fresh, funny and playful crime-comedy hybrid. Mark Perez’s tight, strong and humorous screenplay boasts plenty of well-placed twists and turns to keep the entertainment high while Goldstein and Francis Daley’s imaginative direction heighten the film’s excitement. High-in-the-sky shots which make the sets look like board games while some impressive action sequences inspired by films such as TAKEN and MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE combine to make this fast-paced and witty comedy feel like a breath of fresh air.

Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams in Game Night (2018)

In the lead roles Max and Annie, Bateman and McAdams prove to be a charismatic pairing, boasting great on-screen chemistry together. The supporting cast is equally strong, particularly Kyle Chandler as Max’s seedy older brother Brooks and Jesse Plemons as the socially awkward cop Gary who is perpetually mourning his “angel” of an ex-wife.

While GAME NIGHT isn’t going to win any awards for its plot – the story takes some strange detours and all of the characters are a little clichéd, including the villains of the piece – the film ultimately makes for an entertaining ride with some genuine laugh-out-loud moments.

The refreshing mix of genres also helps to turn the traditional rom-com on its head, with moments of horror, crime and drama all combining to make GAME NIGHT a crime-comedy hybrid more than worthy to play along with.

(4 / 5)

GAME NIGHT is released in UK cinemas from 1 March 2018.

About Donna

Donna is the Editor of Frankly, My Dear UK. By day, she is a digital marketing whizz, by night she reviews film, theatre and music for a wide range of publications including WhatsonStage, The Public Reviews and ScreenRelish. Loves Shakespeare, prosecco and Formula 1