Thursday, March 8, 2018

Movie Review: Game Night

A hilarious premise and top comedic performers create a great mixture of action and humor. The story revolves around a competitive couple Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams) who met at a trivia night and haven't stopped playing games since. They have grown older, married, and bought a house with a creepy neighbor Gary (Jesse Plemons), a police officer who they go out of their way not to invite to their frequent game nights with other friends. They are working to have a child but Max's high-stress levels over competition and not being as successful as his brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler) has lowered Max's sperm count. Brooks is planning a visit to their city so they have put out a game night with all of their friends including the couple Kevin (Lamorne Morris) and Michelle (Kylie Bunbury), and Ryan (Billy Magnussen) with his revolving door of girlfriends. Brooks embarrasses Max and Annie takes it personally since it is preventing them from starting a family even though Max is hesitant to become a couple with a kid.

The next week Brooks throws a very intense game night from a special company. The whole group shows up and Ryan brings Sarah (Sharon Horgan), a coworker who says she has no romantic interest in him. Brooks offers the prize of a classic car, one of Max's favorite since he was a kid.  However, when the man comes to start the game to kidnappers burst in and capture Brooks. The three couples split up into groups trying to solve the game and win the car. Max and Annie track Brooks's phone to a bar where they confront the kidnappers still thinking it's a game. Annie plays around with a gun that she thinks is fake and accidentally shoots  Max in the arm as they help Brooks escape. Brooks admits that he ripped a dangerous criminal and bails out of the car. Annie and Max speed away to bandage Max's bullet hole in his arm.

Michelle and Kevin argue over Michelle infidelity with a celebrity during a brief break in their relationship as they also discover Brooks's kidnapping was not part of the game. Ryan and Sarah go to the company's business address where they find Glenda (Chelsea Perretti) having fallen asleep with a fake bullet hole in her head. She tells them the final clue but it doesn't make any sense and she also finds out that someone messed up their game. The couples regroup at the house and figure they have to find Brooks from a name he gave them, Donald Anderton (Danny Huston). They pretend to befriend Gary to use his criminal database but Max also soaks Gary's white dog and a room full of memorabilia of his ex-wife in blood. They head to Anderton's house where the rich man is hosting a fight club just like Ryan had read about on Buzzfeed.

They find the egg that Brooks sold to the higher bidder and run around the house in a cool tracking shot scene finally making it out but the egg breaks as they speed away. They realize the egg is fake but a list inside has the identities of individuals under witness protection. Max arranges a meet up with the criminals on a bridge to exchange the list for Brooks but it goes wrong when Brooks eats the list. They are about to be killed when Gary swoops in and saves the day but he is shot too. Just as Max professes his friendship for Gary, the police officer reveals in a nonsensical yet hilariously shocking twist that he had planned a more elaborate game night. Except then he is shot as the real criminal mad at Brooks, the Bulgarian (Michael C. Hall) arrives to capture Brooks. Max and Annie use the classic car to chase down Brooks and stop the plane from flying away. Annie kills the Bulgarian's henchmen and the couple takes down the criminal. The couple is able to move on and have children announcing in a game of charades.

Game Night has a ton of silly jokes and a fast-paced plot that keeps the film moving along and allowing it to avoid pointless ending to the plot like similar comedies. Bateman plays his usual role while McAdams shines in this genre. The supporting couples are funny through all their parts. Jesse Plemons really steals the show as the creepy neighbor police officer holding his white dog and wondering why he's not invited. The show also has some cool scenes like the egg chase and several shots that make the city look like a game board and cars like pieces. I don't normally go to comedies but I'm glad I caught this one in theaters.  

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