You can probably count on one hand the number of Hollywood comedies in the last year or so that are genuinely funny. Game Night is one of them – a breezy and consistently amusing romp that yanks a bunch of suburbanites out of the comfort zone of pub trivia and couch Charades and into a madcap murder mystery.
Married couple Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams) host a weekly game night for a bunch of friends, which is taken up a notch when Max’s wealthy brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler) arranges an elaborate mystery evening. Once it begins, the line between what is real and staged becomes increasingly blurred, with the group dodging bullets and bad guys in a dangerous game that doesn’t play by the rules – or pause for breath.
To say more would spoil the fun, and Game Night is tremendous fun. It’s a major step up from the previous films of writer-directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, Horrible Bosses and the Vacation remake, which were largely reliant on gross-out gags and forced humour.
Instead, this playful and propulsive action-comedy boasts a smart and snappy script that zings with movie trivia and references to delight film buffs, as well as perfect comic timing from the ensemble cast. Jesse Plemons in particular is a standout as Max and Annie’s creepy cop neighbour, who doesn’t take kindly to being left out of game night. And Bateman and McAdams are perfectly matched, throwing themselves into exaggerated roles with winning chemistry.
Low on plot but high on entertainment value, Game Night is a winner – and the perfect date movie.
In cinemas: February 22, 2018
Starring: Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Kyle Chandler
Directed by: John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein
Check out our on-set interview with Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams