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Game Night (2018)


Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams play a believable young couple who prioritize game night with their friends. When Kyle Chandler, the better-looking and more successful brother of Bateman’s character shows up, a deadlier game is afoot. Jesse Plemons plays a next-door neighbor cop and former member of the game night crew before his divorce. He desperately wants to rejoin game night and plays a socially awkward and often scary character perfectly.

Game Night was written by Mark Perez, who also penned Herbie Fully Loaded and a favorite of my time in college, Accepted. Director pair John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein followed up Vacation, the modern National Lampoons film, with Game Night. These are not household names but each brought competence to a film that could have easily fallen apart. It is a solid writer and director pairing for comedies.

This is a fun film that holds up to a rewatch to remind you of jokes and gags you had forgotten about. It does not overstay its welcome coming in at 1:40 but is satisfying if you want a quick comedy that is well executed. It is a rare modern film with slapstick elements we often do not see in films. It is relatable for any sibling that felt like they played second fiddle and has a rewarding payoff as well.

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