a GAME NIGHT musing

GAME NIGHT opens with one of the most touching sequences that introduces our main characters, Max and Annie, played by Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, respectively. It quickly establishes the foundation of their relationship which the rest of the film continues to build upon. The movie is an undercover relationship and maturation story, similar to SHAUN OF THE DEAD. Both movies give you a basis for the leads in one situation, then devolve into extreme, dangerous shenanigans. GAME NIGHT doesn’t quite hit the spot as SHAUN does for me, but it’s still an effective fun time that always keeps you on your toes with some amazing cinematography choices.

Obsessed with all types of games, Max and Annie frequently host game nights with friends, rounded out by a great ensemble cast made up of mainly TV veterans. Max’s brother, Brooks (Kyle Chandler), sets up a special type of game night that turns deadly. The story twists and turns, and the wonderful cast is game for everything that’s tossed their way, as well as handling the outrageous comedy. Jesse Plemons is delightfully creepy and funny, Billy Magnussen continues to pop up and do great work in ensembles, and Rachel McAdams reminded me of how much I’m in love with her.

It’s not the type of movie that will make people’s Top Ten lists at the end of the year, but GAME NIGHT is focused on recreating the same kind of feeling that a game night with your friends elicits. The best parts come from the dramatic irony of the characters not knowing the actual weight of the situations they find themselves in, and their seeming nonchalance and disbelief of their crazy night. The movie is full of fun performances and contains some of the best camera work I’ve seen in a comedy.


(Refer to my rating system HERE!)