Game Night

If you like to see how the humour from Horrible Bosses and Keeping Up with the Jones’ would apply to a film about playing some of your favourite boardgames then you will probably like this.

  • Screenplay by Mark Perez (The Country Bears)
  • Directed by John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein (Vacation)
  • Starring Jason Bateman (Horrible Bosses, Arrested Development TV Series), Rachel McAdams (Doctor Strange, Southpaw) and Kyle Chandler (The Wolf of Wall Street, Argo)
  • Budget of $37m

My initial thoughts
This time last year the Croydon Cinema Club was off to watch the Big Sick with no expectations at all and ended up loving the film. Game Night was no different, a film about boardgames, how good could it be?! Well, Game Night fully exceeded our expectations and ended up being a very entertaining watch. #surprised

The ‘ccc’ review
Every week, Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams) host a weekly games night for their friends – Jenga, Pictionary, Charades – all of the classics. When Max’s brother (Kyle Chandler) rolls into town, he takes Game Night to another level when he arranges a Murder Mystery party – but as the group of friends compete to win, they begin to realise that Game Night might just have got real.

You may think this is just another bad film trying to make a novel idea into a comedy (think Fist Fight [Cinema Club’s worst film of 2017] and Daddy’s Home 2 released in 2017), but Game Night is surprisingly amusing – just like the first time you play Hungry Hippos.

Word of caution, if you were expecting a film that focuses on an intense game of Catan or a group of friends playing a particular game, it is definitely not. Although a game focused on a 9 hour game of Risk would probably be the most dramatic thriller you will see all year (those who have played it will know).

The film keeps it simple – a solid cast with a strong script and doesn’t rely on much slapstick comedy or cheap laughs. Despite a plot as bonkers as a game of Mousetrap, you don’t really spend much time questioning any plot holes as you are having such an enjoyable time watching the film. The co-directors have done a good job of maintaining the pace of the film and a running time of 1 hour 45mins means you won’t get bored. It was also good to see how they tried their best to inter-weave as many games as possible (Operation, Simon says, Charades, Pictionary and Fight Club – although I don’t think Fight Club technically qualifies as a game you would play on game night).

The dialogue and the cast are the strongest aspects of this film. Jason Bateman does his normal role of playing an uptight middle aged man but he is a bit more subtle than his previous films. His on-sceen wife played by McAdams probably plays her first fun role since Mean Girls and the two of them bounce off each other well. This is apparent throughout the cast – each couple work well off each other and as a result, everyone plays their part in contributing to a successful film. Lamorne Morris’ impression of Denzel Washington is great, Billy Magnussen plays the dumb role well and Sharon Horgan’s Irish wit fits in well. Finally, you have Jesse Plemons, who along with his car, provides the main comic relief within the comedy which he plays brilliantly.

What are my final Thoughts
Game Night fulfills it’s purpose – an entertaining and amusing film which will help you de-stress. It isn’t a game changing comedy but it would definitely be a film I would watch again when it comes on TV. So if you would like to relax, you may actually have more fun watching Game Night than you would have putting on that next item during a game of Bucakaroo (which can actually make you quite tense!).

🎥 🎲 An enjoyable comedy worth a roll of the dice

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