Game Night (2018) a (right on time!) review

This past Friday, the 23rd of February, I pick up the local paper, head over to the Weekend section to see what’s up in the world of entertainment and found, as one does, reviews for the films being released that day.

Among the films being released was Game Night, a film that, until I saw the review in that paper, had heard absolutely nothing about.  Here’s the movie’s trailer, which clearly I also missed when it was shown on TV (if indeed it was!).  Though I’m putting the trailer here, I would urge those who know about and/or are interested in seeing the film skip the trailer.  It gives away a lot of information about the film.  Thankfully, not everything, but too much:

Anyho, I read the review, which was positive, and my wife spotted it as well and on Sunday we didn’t have all that much to do in the afternoon so we headed out and saw it.

I have to admit, I was somewhat leery.  The movie’s directors, John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, previously directed the 2015 remake/sequel Vacation, a film that wasn’t very well received and fizzled at the box office.

Nonetheless, based on that review and the overall very good reviews of the film on, we went.

And you know what?  The movie was quite good!

I mean, it isn’t a “classic” in the realm of, say, Airplane! or the Monty Python films, but it nonetheless is a film that is consistently funny and, as an added bonus, quite clever with several fun twists and turns.

Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams play Max and Annie, a married couple who share an interest in playing games and are damned competitive about it (one of the more humorous lines in the film, found early on, has our protagonists playing Risk with another couple and joining forces to crush the others.  When told they can’t join forces while playing Risk, their response, which I won’t give away here, is quite hilarious).

Anyway, Max’s brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler, quite good) is in town and, after a game night ends, he invites Max and Annie and their friends to his house where, it turns out, he’s got a “next level” game night planned: He’s hired a company that stages a kidnapping and its up to the players to solve the kidnapping.  The winner gets Brooks’ beautiful cherry red Stingray.

This part you probably see coming: The staged kidnapping turns out to be a real kidnapping, though the players are, at least at first, blissfully unaware of that fact.

I won’t give away anymore of the movie’s plot here but, again, expect more than a few twists and turns.

Everyone within the film delivers here.  Having said that, special mention has to be made to Jesse Plemons.  He plays Max and Annie’s next door neighbor, a creepy police officer who has just divorced and seems to wear his police outfit twenty four hours a day.  A great character!

In sum, if you want to have a fun time at the cinema and laugh throughout a film (as opposed to some “comedies” that give you a couple of laughs here and there), you could do a lot worse than Game Night.

An easy recommendation.