Going into this film I was hoping for a funnier than usual comedy, thanks to good reviews on IMDb and across a wide variety of other formats. However, as I had watched the trailer a number of times before watching the film, I was worried that all the good jokes might just be in there (as is often the case with comedies these days, most notably recently with ‘The House’.)
What was it about?
Effectively, this film does exactly what it says on the tin. It is about a group of middle aged friends, who have a regular game night at Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie’s (Rachel McAdams’) house. Every week, they do the same old games with: Charades and Pictionary being regular favourites. Despite their enjoyment of the classics, they talk about what rich people’s game nights would be like and one of the friends, Ryan (Billy Magnussen,) becomes certain that they have fight clubs. When Max’s successful older brother, Brooks (Kyle Chandler,) comes to town; Max reluctantly obliges to let Brooks host the next game night. Inevitably, it quickly becomes clear that this will be a Game Night to remember…
What did I think?
Positives: The very opening sequence of this film, instantly throws us into the hilarious comedy. The film is expertly shot and the way it pans over the whole group when they are together and then cuts neatly to individuals, really makes us feel like we are part of the group.
The script is very smartly written by Mark Perez with snappy dialogue and hilarious jokes. One of my favourites was:
(Group are playing Pictionary)
Group: What is it?
Gary: It’s me crying at the Green Mile in the cinema.
Group: How on earth were we supposed to know that.
Gary: I assumed everybody cried during the Green Mile.
Also, what made the script so great was, the film didn’t just rely on the comedy elements to make it an engaging and enjoyable watch. I loved the intrigue and drama that was consistent throughout and rather than just showing one clear plot line, it followed a number of different people and groups, developing different sub-plots that really helped maintain our engagement. I thought that some of the twists and turns were genuinely surprising, which is very pleasing as often in comedy films the whole plot is explained to you within the opening sequence. All this is great, but what people come for in a comedy is the comedy and if I wasn’t clear enough before this film is absolutely hilarious. I think I must have laughed at least 15-20 times and that is no hyperbole. There were funny plot sequences, sections of dialogue and even some bits I don’t think were supposed to be funny. If you are a fan of comedy you must go and see this film as it is one of the funniest I have ever seen.
Negatives: Although this film has an intriguing concept with a ‘Game Night’, the idea of a comedy that is rooted in friendship is nothing we haven’t seen before (therefore, when people say they didn’t enjoy it, I can see where they are coming from.) Moreover, I can understand why some people may say that the set pieces are just corny and cheesy, because to some extent they are, but most of the time for me, this just added to the fun. I agree that there were dry patches in the film but in no way did this: overwhelm or occupy a significant minority part of the film to bother thinking about: whilst watching it or past it’s 100 minute running time.
Conclusion: This is a very fun film. If you want a comedy that will: make you laugh and will maintain your engagement, this is the film for you. If you are not a frequent cinema- goer then I would say that of all the mainstream films, other than possibly Black Panther, this should be one you should try to see.
My Rating- 8/10
I hope you enjoyed this review and if you did, then please like and follow. I would just like to quickly say thank you to my 51 followers who helped me surpass the 50 mark yesterday. I REALLY appreciate it.