Review: ‘Game Night’ proves to be a refreshing comedy


Photo courtesy of IMDb 

Story by Delaney Dickey / Contributing Writer

Comedic movies have been steadily heading in a downhill spiral over the past two years. Not straying far off the mediocre path, “Game Night” attempts to revamp the genre with suspenseful plot twists. “Game Night” is also full of witty one-liners that kept the audience laughing until the ending credits began to roll.

Max, played by Jason Bateman, and Annie Davis (Rachel McAdams) are a couple who fell in love because of their  intense competitiveness, especially when it comes to games. Every weekend the couple hosts a game night and their friends, who are other couples, come over to play traditional games like Pictionary, charades and Scrabble, all while avoiding the creepy next-door neighbor, Gary Kingsbury (Jesse Plemons) who longs to be a part of the group.

One week, Max’s older, hot-shot brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler) comes into town and wants to host a game night of his own. Brooks has stolen Max’s thunder his entire life, so Max is hesitant to comply with Brooks’ request. Nevertheless, he agrees to go to his brother’s game night. The following weekend, the couples find themselves sitting in a mansion where Brooks has planned an elaborate murder-mystery game. The grand prize is a brand-new sports car, which peaks the interest of all the couples. Not long after everyone arrives at the mansion, two men break down the front door and stage an elaborate fight scene that ends in the kidnapping of Brooks. The couples question whether it was all a part of the game or if it was real life. As the night continues, the couples find themselves in an actual life-or-death situation — or is it?

Directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein are known for their mediocre reboot of “Vacation” in 2015, which made viewers wonder if “Game Night” would exceed expectations or become another near-miss comedy. However, the directors did not disappoint. The creative camera movements and transitions allow this comedy to be seen in a more unique and aesthetically pleasing way than other movies in the same genre. From wide-span shots, which make some scenes look like they belong in a stop-motion film, to the steady flow of the camera movement in a chase scene, Daley and Goldstein showcase their talents in a new and refreshing way.

One of the best parts of this movie is the script, which was written by Mark Perez. This film is filled with multiple pop culture references, sarcastic humor and unpredictable twists that you’ll never see coming. While this movie could have gone wrong in many ways, Perez wrote a script that was both tasteful and entertaining. All jokes aside, this hilarious movie also tells a touching story between the loving couple and leaves the audience with a life lesson.

The biggest standout in this movie, however, are the leading stars. While his comedic movies have become repetitive in past years, Bateman steers off his traditional path with this character, Max. It was also nice to see McAdams play the role as Annie, because she doesn’t showcase her comedic talents often. Although the co-stars provided many laughs throughout the film, Bateman’s and McAdams’ performances were the most memorable. While the two leads bring their individual talents to this movie, together they have incredible chemistry that convinces the audience that they are actually a longtime married couple.

All-in-all, this movie was a refresher from the typical slapstick comedies that have been recently thrown onto the big screen. If you are looking for a good laugh, this movie is perfect for you.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Tayhlor Stephenson, email lifestyles@mtsusidelines.com.

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