It is said that having something in common in certain respects will make the journey of love between a pair of humans last longer. Likewise, what happened to Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams) whose love of the game –and always wanted to be competitive – was what brought them together and kept their relationship going. They regularly often have game nights with their friends; a husband and wife couple Kevin and Michelle (Lamorne Morris and Kylie Bunbury), and Ryan (Billy Magnussen) who always bring a different partner every game night . Usually they play simple games like charades, scrabble, monopoly and more; but then along comes Max’s brother, Brooks (Kyle Chandler), offering an interactive simulation game that ends up going wrong.
The premise – or title – of Game Night is similar to that of a 1997 film by David Fincher, but wrapped in comedy. The comedy bandage still contains a lot of slapstick – which is understandable because the director duo John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein are scriptwriters for Horrible Bosses – but it is followed by the right timing that makes you laugh out loud. Likewise, the script written by Mark Perez was very clever in using the misperceptions of the cast and references to other films as jokes.
This script from Mark Perez is indeed not arbitrary, although it does take a bit of time at the beginning to really get on . But when the story really settles down , then everything gets interesting and the fun begins. At first, the storyline only felt like an ordinary good-turned-bad incident, but it turned out to have unexpected surprises in it. Even though I already felt that something was wrong, I still didn’t know what would happen. Comedy films that are successful in delivering comedy are commonplace, but comedy films that are successful in making laughs but also wrapped in a story plot that is no less fun are just extraordinary.
Although this is a comedy film, the action scenes are also a reinforcing element that makes this film more interesting. The chase action, blood splatter, tragic death, to the action of sleeding the plane wheel in the style of Liam Neeson’s film, which while not being spared made a situation that invites laughter but also does not eliminate the level of excitement. The use of technical aspects such as continuous shots and good sound system also emphasizes that this film is not just an ordinary comedy film. I also like the diorama- style shooting where it’s as if you’re looking at the players on a board game. When else will comedy films have a complete treat?
The script, the comic timing , and the use of good technical aspects will not work without the right lineup of players, which Game Night is fortunate to have. While Jason Bateman who often plays comedic roles – also plays in Horrible Bosses – the one who is most captivating is Rachel McAdams. Although she plays more often in rom-com films , Rachel McAdams here seems to have fun with her role, besides being adorable.as usual. Dancing with a gun, performing surgery, to witnessing a tragic death, all executed wittily through their expressions or movements. Likewise, Jesse Plemons whose expression is sad but creepy – which even though it appears for a moment – is quite memorable .
Every year I always prepare a must-see list, and every year I also insert a few films that are not actually on the watch list, which is sometimes surprising. This year the first film on my list that surprisingly fell on Game Night .