Game night doesn’t do full justice to its potent concept. But it is kept afloat by a talented and enthusiastic cast.
Game Night Synopsis
Max and Annie are a loving couple bond by their mutual fondness for games. Regularly, they host game nights for a selective group of close friends too. One evening, Max’s successful older brother Brooks, whom Max has long been envious of, turns up and proposes a grander session. Brooks’ intended evening of a mystery adventure quickly spirals into actual bloodshed and violence, when his seedy past unexpectedly catches up with him.
I have long been skeptical of murder mysteries evenings and the likes of, which by the way, I have yet to attend a proper session of. Technically, it just seems impossible to me for any of them to go well.
It’s like, how do you get a group of disparate personalities to cooperate with the sort of watertight script that’s necessary? What happens when competitive smart alecks decide to inject their own adlibs so as to impress a date, or for no more than the kick of doing so?
In various ways, Game Night is bogged by these same challenges, but in its case, it also shines by opting to be utterly frank about them. The cast is shown shamelessly cheating, which in turn allows for the story to resolve a bigger challenge: that of the hard fact that a one-trick premise as such couldn’t possibly be extended for long without tiring.
From the mid-point onwards, Game Night does still occasionally veer towards being tedious. Personally, I found the weird neighbour jokes and dumb jock gags way too overdone. But as I highlighted in my one-liner above, the enthusiasm of the cast, on the whole, keeps the movie afloat. Bateman and McAdams also exude a strong comedic chemistry that demands you overlook the movie’s hastily stitched flaws.
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