Game Night (2018) – Review

2 Stars

I’m a huge fan of the writing by director’s, John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, their work on Horrible Bosses and Spiderman: Homecoming shows their versatility and massive talent. So, why does Game Night not make the most of its comical concept? This is a picture that promises a great deal of fun and laughs but quickly runs out of both. Here, is a comedy that contains one laugh-out-loud scene, and about a half-dozen action/violent scenes. It’s an odd mixture that proves to be unsuccessful by the time the film reaches its (action-oriented) climax and resolution.

A middle-class suburban couple (Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams) are thrown into a dangerous situation when their ‘game night’ goes awry. When their evening is interrupted by thugs who kidnap their relative (Kyle Chandler), the couple and their four friends, embark on a mission to get him back. The joke is that the players are unaware that this is a deadly mix-up that could cost them all of their lives.

There is a strained tone of desperation that permeates throughout the would-be comedy, Game Night. Sure, it’s a satirical take on middle-class malaise, but the film itself has no arc, excitement, or big laughs. Bateman is now in danger of becoming a caricature of himself, with the exception of Netflix’s Ozark, and his style of underplaying has long grown mannered and obnoxious.

Directors: John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein
Stars: Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Kyle Chandler

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