Movie Review: Game Night (2018)

Synopsis: A competitive gamer, Max Davis, has everything he could ask for in his equally competitive wife Annie, who makes a perfect partner during their regularly-held game night with friends. But, when he continually fails to get Annie pregnant, she believes it is from the feelings of inadequacy caused by his successful older brother, Brooks.
When Brooks comes to visit, he hijacks game night, hires a company to run an interactive murder mystery and, later in the evening, is kidnapped. There's just one problem, the kidnapping is not part of the game.

Who's in it? The movie stars Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Kyle Chandler, Kylie Bunbury and Jesse Plemons.


Review: I wound up getting this film on DVD through Netflix because, from the description at least, I thought it sounded a lot like the movie Date Night and, since my wife and I both loved that film, I figured it would be worth taking the time to watch.

As it turns out, this wound up being an OK film with quite a few laughs. But, overall, I do have to say I wasn't as impressed with it as I hoped to be.

I'll start out with the things I liked about this movie. For one, I did like the ensemble cast. Bateman and McAdams were a decent pairing on their own but this was the kind of movie that really needed more than just them. The filmmakers seemed to recognize this by adding everything from a somewhat creepy cop neighbor (Plemons) to a group of friends with their own quirks and problems.

The fact there was a real kidnapping happening at the same time as a fake murder mystery did add an additional element to this because, at least early on, it was hard to tell what was real and what wasn't. Plus, there was always the possibility Brooks (Chandler) would reveal everything was fake at the very end. As a result of this, the movie did avoid being as predictable as it had the potential to be.

My biggest problem with this movie is I think the writers let the cat out of the bag a little too soon. A married couple and their friends solving a real kidnapping case while thinking they are solving a fake mystery is interesting and funny and should have been milked for as long as possible. Instead, the group finds out the truth less than halfway through the film. Again, it still managed to be somewhat funny. but, as a result of this, I just don't think it was as funny as it had the potential to be.

I also thought the new addition to the group, Sarah (Sharon Horgan) was somewhat wasted. I was really hoping there was going to be some sort of surprise twist involving her character, such as she would turn out to be the main bad guy. Instead, she wound up just being Ryan's (Billy Magnussen) smarter-than-average date, which was kind of boring in my opinion.

Final Opinion: I think this movie had a lot of potential. But, the writers were in a bit too much of a rush to reveal what was really happening and, as a result, wasted a unique premise. It was OK. However, it wasn't memorable.

My Grade: C

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