There’s a saying: “You’re smarter than you look,” and that was my reaction towards “Game Night.” I was on the fence with the trailers, especially with how it’s difficult finding a mass market R-rated comedy that’s actually funny. Once I saw the movie, I found it to be a surprise.
John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein are best known for contributing to such screenplays as “Horrible Bosses” and “Spider-Man: Homecoming, which I both enjoyed; and for writing and directing the 2015 reboot/sequel “Vacation,” which was one of the absolute worst comedies I’ve ever seen. Their next directing job of “Game Night” is actually pretty funny.
They reunite with Jason Bateman as he plays a gamer named Max who falls for another gamer named Annie (Rachel McAdams), and marries her. He also has a more successful brother named Brooks (Kyle Chandler), who comes to town and invites them and their friends (Billy Magnussen, Sharon Horgan, Lamorne Morris, and Kylie Burnbury) to a game night at his rental house.
He sets up a murder mystery and the grand prize is his nice car. So an FBI Agent (Jeffrey Wright) and two thugs barge in. The only problem is: they’re real and they’ve taken Brooks.
It took a while for me to warm up to the characters and the humor, but once the kidnapping begins, I found myself enjoying it, a lot more than expected. This comedy does things that “Horrible Bosses 2” failed to do. You have such nice chemistry with Bateman and McAdams and Morris and Burnbury, and even Jesse Plemmons (as a creepy cop) adds a nice touch to it.
At times, it’s a little mean, and at times, it’s a bit much, but this was surprisingly entertaining.