Game Night might not be one day some comedy classic but it is an awfully fun movie that features plenty of laughs and a entertaining ensemble cast led way by Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams and, albeit a small part, Michael C. Hall.
Genre(s): Comedy, Crime, Suspense/Thriller
Warner Bros. | R – 100 min. – $35.99 | May 22, 2018
Date Published: 05/19/2018 | Author: The Movieman
THE MOVIE — 3.75/5
Game Night isn’t a some sort of, forgive the expression, game-changer of a movie but it easily is one of funniest films to come down the pike, a light-hearted affair that you can just sit back and relax, just to enjoy the absurdity of it.
The plot is simple enough. Married couple Max (JASON BATEMAN) and Annie (RACHEL MCADAMS) host game night in their home with their friends, Ryan (BILL MAGNUSSEN), Kevin (LAMORNE MORRIS) and his wife, Michelle (KYLIE BUNBURY). When Max’s successful brother, Brooks (KYLE CHANDLER), comes to town, he decides to take game night up a notch when he hires a company to run a murder mystery party where one person is “kidnapped” and the others must follow the clues to win.
But things take a turn when Brooks is kidnapped for real, retribution for his illegal dealings as a smuggler. At first the participants believe it’s part of the game, but realize later Brooks life is in actual danger and Max and Annie are determined to save his life, which leads them down a path filled with peril, gunshot wounds and some comedic situations, one involving stealing a valuable Faberge egg, which Brooks promised to a man known only as The Bulgarian (MICHAEL C. HALL) but sold to someone else (DANNY HUSTON).
I actually was pleasantly surprised by Game Night. No, it’s not breaking any new ground in the comedy genre but considering it is from the filmmakers behind the poor Vacation reboot/remake, John Francis Daly and Jonathan Goldstein (both make cameos), I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. What I got was some genuinely laugh-out-loud jokes and some subversion of expectation that actually worked.
Another thing that was surprising: Jason Bateman. I’m not a big fan of Bateman mostly because, like Zach Galifianakis and Melissa McCarthy, he pretty much plays the same kind of character, a bit charming with plenty of smarminess underneath it all. And to be honest, the smarm is still there but paired up with the delightful Rachel McAdams, who hasn’t shown her comedic side all that often veering towards either half-written roles (see Doctor Strange) or romantic-dramas, and she works well with the material.
One highlight was Dexter’s Michael C. Hall’s role as the film’s antognist. It’s a small part but reminds one how valuable Hall is as an actor and why he should get more feature roles (personally rooting for him to be in Daly/Goldstein’s The Flash movie). Like the other characters, he’s not exactly fleshed out but still, like the film itself, was a lot of fun to watch.
And that’s what Game Night is. Just all around fun. It’s stylishly directed and have some funny fandom moments like quoting a line from Pulp Fiction, but I doubt it’s replay value is all that high; time will tell.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.0/5
This release comes with a matted slip cover and inside, along with the DVD Copy, is a redemption code for the Digital HD. Unfortunately the features are lacking, with only a short Making-of (3:48; HD) featurette and a Gag Reel (6:48; HD).
Previews – Life of the Party, Ocean’s 8, Rampage, Paddington 2, Batman Ninja
VIDEO – 4.25/5
|Game Night is presented in its original 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer. It’s a fine looking picture with well balanced, and somewhat bright, colors and detail is sharp and nicely defined throughout while black levels look stark and deep.
AUDIO – 4.5/5
|The included DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track was unexpectedly robust, especially for a comedy. Along with strong dialogue levels outpouring via the center channel, the surrounds also come to life, including Cliff Martinez’s effective score, as does the LFE (bass) kicking on for an extra measure of depth or oomph.
OVERALL – 3.5/5
Overall, Game Night might not be one day some comedy classic but it is an awfully fun movie that features plenty of laughs and a entertaining ensemble cast led way by Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams and, albeit a small part, Michael C. Hall. The Blu-ray release is, however, on the weaker side in terms of features though the video/audio transfers were impressive.
Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.