Game Night: a movie review by Tayla Rosen

February 21, 2018 by Tayla Rosen
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Having obvious similarities to films such as ‘Mr and Mrs Smith’ (2005), ‘Killers’ (2010) and ‘Date Night’ (2010), moviegoers can see a common theme evidently growing in popularity in Hollywood. 

‘Game Night’ is a witty comedy that builds up to an intense action movie, ultimately staged as a black comedy. A perfect balance between humour, menace and seriousness, it takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions. Staring Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, a loved up couple get more than they bargained for when their attempt to conduct their weekly games night, turns into a crazy spiral of unfortunate, yet comically brilliant events.

What should’ve been a simple night of entertainment gets turned up a notch when Max’s brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler) invites the group over for a murder mystery party. While giving instructions, Brooks mentions “you wont know what’s real and what’s fake”. As the game begins, a couple of gang members bust into Brooks house, attack him and successfully kidnap him, forming the premise of the film. As the couples amusingly watch on while indulging in cheese and biscuits, what they don’t know is that this ‘fake’ murder mystery, may not be so fake after all.

As the couples race to win the prize Brooks has promised, one by one they realise this may be more than just a game. With Annie (Rachel McAdams) accidentally shooting Max (Jason Bateman) in the arm, the grim humour escalates as the horrors of the film create an endless stream of laughter. The events continue with an action packed car chase, an amusingly bloody dog and an excursion to a ‘rich persons’ fight night that ends in a comical game of piggy in the middle.

After an awkward attempt at the beginning of the film to exclude Max and Annie’s  socially inept policeman neighbour Gary (Jesse Plemons) from games night, Gary’s strong attempt to join in eventually brings him right into the middle of a night much more than he expected.

When what seems to be the eventually end of all the terror, the events suddenly kick off again when Brooks’s history, previously unknown by the group, comes back to haunt him and the group is once again taken on an action packed trip to find him and end the murder mystery for good. Max and Annie conduct some pretty spectacular Liam Neeson manoeuvres, essentially tackling a moving airplane with their car and being accessories to a man getting swept up by a planes propeller.

Ultimately, the wild goose chase around the city certainly does hold true to Brooks initial words, “you wont know what’s real or what is fake”.

Personally, I felt that this film was truly refreshing. The snappy, yet exceptionally hilarious script tied in with the action, allows you to take a break from the conventional heavy drama present in most actions films. I appreciated the lack of stupidity within most of the characters, proving that the films comic brilliance came from no more than the story and the script, rather than the audience gaining pleasure out of the senselessness of the characters.

Suitable for all mature audiences, regardless of genres preference, this film is sure to get a laugh out of everyone.


4.5/5  Rated MA15+  

Release date: 22nd Feb

Starring: Rachel McAdams, Jason Bateman, Kylie Bunbury and Kyle Chandler

Directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein 

Written by Mark Perez

Music by Cliff Martinez

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