The Oakland Post

“Game Night” is not a game changer, but is still fun

courtesy of IMDb

courtesy of IMDb

Falin Hakeem, Staff Reporter

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Like everyone, I’ve been obsessed with Rachel McAdams since her Oscar-worthy performance as Regina George in “Mean Girls.” So when I first saw the trailer for “Game Night,” I thought to myself, “this looks kind of lame.” But hey, if Rachel McAdams is in it, how bad could it be, right?

Spoiler alert: it actually wasn’t lame. “Game Night” was surprisingly funny. And it’s been a while since there’s been a funny movie out in theaters.

The film is a dark comedy directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein (Horrible Bosses) about middle-class married couple Max, played by (Jason Bateman), and Annie, (McAdams), who have a weekly game night between their couple friends (Lamorne Morris, Kylie Bunbury, Billy Magnussen and Sharon Horgan).

Now, Max and Annie do not like to lose. And it’s mostly because game night is all they really have. It seems like they have it all, but they don’t. The couple is having fertility issues (to which their doctor described Max’s sperm as insecure).  And on top of that, Max, like his sperm, has always felt insecure and outshined by his successful but obnoxious older brother, Brooks, (Kyle Chandler).

Brooks shows up to their place one day with his Corvette Stingray, as he does and challenges them to control over arranging their next game night, with the offer on the table being his Stingray. Instead of the gang’s typical game night, he proposes a staged murder mystery complete with accomplices and fake kidnappers – which unexpectedly turns real when Max’s brother actually gets abducted.

Hands down the best part of the film had to be McAdams and Bateman. They carried the entire production from start to finish with their back and forth-ness. There’s something about Bateman that just makes you feel good. He’s like the male Jennifer Aniston, the good guy of commercially mainstream comedies. And as for McAdams, well you all know how I feel about her.

This film truly made me miss her old school stuff and has me wondering why she hasn’t made more in recent years. What I loved about the film is its ability to be sharp-witted and clever, which usually gets lost in comedies of this nature these days, and especially with a premise like that of “Game Night.”

I felt as if each character had their moment to show off their comedic skills. Aside from Bateman and McAdams, Jesse Plemons (Hostiles) who somehow always manages to play a creepy role also stole the show playing Max and Annie’s intensely weird neighbor, crossing the line with every joke that was made.

All in all, “Game Night”was a pleasant surprise of a film, especially when going to the theaters “just to go” with the notion that the movie is going to be kind of lame. It wasn’t exactly a game changer, it was more so a place holder for the next big thing, but it did bring the lols.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

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