Game Night (2018)
A group of friends who meet regularly for game nights find themselves trying to solve a murder mystery.
Games Night is something you don’t always get with an ensemble cast: it’s solidly great. Honestly, there isn’t a weak link when it comes to this friendship circle or the side characters, they’re all marvelous together and in their own moments. I laughed out loud a lot and man do I like to belly laugh (it’s just about the only work out my abs get).
Max and Annie are a couple united by their love of competition. Together they’re a deadly team, winning at all the games nights they host at home, or attend at their groups’ houses. Beneath all the competitiveness however, this couple is trying to have a baby and move life on to the next level.
Unfortunately, things aren’t falling as easily into place with the baby making and it might be stress related. Max’s to be precise. Annie puts it down to Max’s jealous rivalry with his own brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler), the better looking, more successful sibling – something Max strenuously denies.
When Brooks arrives back in town and rents a house near his brother, Max is forced to face his feelings towards his brother and his hopes for his future with Annie. But first, there’s always time for a game.
This game is different however and one concocted by Brooks to up the ante of games night. Someone will be taken by kidnappers during the course of the night and the others have to find them. The prize? Brook’s fancy sports car.
What a perfect opportunity for Max to finally show his brother, eh? Well, things take a turn and that’s about all there is to say about that.
It’s really hard to pick highlights from the performances because they’re all so good but I would say Jesse Plemons’ oddball neighbour Gary steals the show. The scenes in his home are priceless and he plays heartbroken weirdo like a total pro. There’s also a perfect turn from Chelsea Peretti. Sharon Horgan adds a certain intellect to proceedings when she rocks up as Ryan’s atypical games night date, while I love McAdams whose comic timing is seriously on point.
The rest, including Billy Magnussen and Lamorne Morris do a fine job of bringing up the rear. I have to mention Jason Bateman because my relationship with him is complicated. I’ve grown tired of his straight man stick but I didn’t mind him so much in this. I guess McAdams really brings out the best in him because I bought their chemistry as a couple and enjoyed them together immensely.
Sure, the story is far-fetched and not the main draw of the film – but this was overall a lot of fun and sometimes that’s really all you want.