Game Night Review

A group of friends who meet regularly for game nights find themselves entangled in a real-life mystery when the shady brother of one of them is seemingly kidnapped by dangerous gangsters.

People watch comedies to do one thing and one thing only; laugh. There are some people who want to laugh and revel in how clever they are when they get the high brow political jokes or those who want to laugh until their sides aches. There are even some who just want to 'turn their brains off' and laugh away their daily struggles. Comedy is valid whether you're a fan or not. It's good to see Game Night so sharp in its comedy. A film that is smartly written, with creative characters, inventive filmmaking and tight pacing.



In other words it's a film that is easy to like, it's not the funniest film ever but it is the funniest film of 2018 (so far). Game Night stars Rachel McAdams and Jason Bateman as ultra competitive couple, Annie and Max. They host a weekly board game night with best friends Ryan (Billy Magnussen), Sarah (Sharon Horgan) and the happily married Michelle and Kevin (Kylie Bunbury and Lamorne Morris). On the sidelines having never been invited to such an event is creepy next door neighbour Gary (Jesse Plemons).

After the stage is set with all the character pieces in place, Max's older brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler) breaks the status quo by announcing the ultimate: A game night to end all game nights. Unbeknownst to the group the events which follow aren't necessarily how they appear to be, and consists of a collection of set-pieces and life or death moments which the gang take as part of 'the game'. Once the characters realise what is going on, this game can't simply be put down or leave in a cupboard to get dusty. This is one game night where they realise if they lose, there's a whole lot more at stake than just bragging rights.



Game Night excels in its approach. Directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein (Vacation) mould real life peril with out there situations. The characters (created within Mark Perez's screenplay) treat the situation seriously, making you care for the characters and their stories. This is a film shot like a thriller wrapped in a comedic script. Think Adam McKay directing through David Fincher's eye for good lighting and intense camera angles.

EXTRAS

An Unforgettable Evening - Making 'Game Night' - a good EPK but as with all EPKs is far too short at under four minutes.

Gag Reel - no explanation required.

VIDEO

Shot digitally by Barry Peterson, a cinematographer of note within the comedy genre, having worked on the Jump Street films and Zoolander. There is a fluorescent look to the film akin to the plastic pieces of a board game and the 'hyper reality' the film is set in. With it being shot digitally the film has a superior sharpness with solid blacks throughout.

AUDIO

5.1 soundtrack with a lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1



Game Night is available on digital download, DVD, Blu-ray and VoD now.

Film
9 out of 10
Video
9 out of 10
Audio
7 out of 10
Extras
5 out of 10
Overall

Game Night isn't particularly groundbreaking but with a high calibre cast and a behind the camera team who understand the material, this is one film you might come back to time and again.

9

out of 10

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