The 478th film I have seen in theaters…
Do you want to play a game?
Max and Annie are hyper competitive gamers, be it board games, video, anything of the kind. They host a weekly “Game Night” with their friends, which is disrupted by the arrival of Max’s brother- the wealthy, successful Brooks. Brooks commandeers the game night and hosts a “mystery night” where Brooks is kidnapped and the gamers must solve the crime. Unfortunately, Brooks is actually kidnapped due to his all too real smuggling operations. The gamers try to solve the “game” and eventually discover that this is a real kidnapping. They must rescue Brooks, find a Faberge Egg, have a shootout to save the day. sigh….
Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams are Max and Annie. Bateman turns in his usual nice guy in insane situation performance that he’s been using for a while now. McAdams actually shone a little brighter in this film than in some of her past work. She cut loose a little bit and seems to have had fun with this one.
Lamorne Morris and Kylie Bunbury are Kevin and Michelle, friends of the stars. They have a few funny situations, Morris has a killer Denzel impersonation, but aside from a plot thread of Michelle sleeping with a celebrity during a “break”, a lot of their stuff seems forced.
Billy Magnussen and Sharon Horgan are Ryan and Sarah, coworkers. He is an idiot and brings Sarah along because she is smart and he wants to win some games. His stupidity borders on unbelievable for most of the film, as does Sarah’s existence in the plot. The main characters even ask why she is still with them as criminals are shooting at them. Her answer is as thin as her plot.
Kyle Chandler is quite good as Brooks, the smuggler brother. He is of course known recently for his work on Friday Night Lights. Speaking of…
Saving the film is Jesse Plemons, also from FNL. He plays Gary the creepy neighbor. Gary and his wife were part of game night, but after they divorced he was pushed aside as he is weird. His scenes, and the scenes in his home, were the highlight of the film.
This movie was ok, but was nothing really special. The dark humor worked, as did Bateman and McAdams. The other couples felt underutilized and much of it was forced, especially the action movie set piece they used to end the film, out of place. As I said above, Jesse Plemons was the highlight. He’s been turning in great work for quite a while now, and he continues that here. He, and his dog, saved the movie. 5/10