Friday, February 23, 2018

Game Night Review: Unravels into a Stellar Comedy

The comedy genre and I do not tend to see eye to eye. Perhaps I am just strict when it comes to my sense of humor but I usually find myself unimpressed with modern comedies as they often have the same type of jokes and like to beat you over the head with their punchlines. However when it comes to this profession you cannot pick your battles and sometimes you have to endure certain movies. That was the case for the newest comedy in theaters: Game Night. Directed by the team of John Frances Daley and Jonathan Goldstein Game Night takes the concept of a murder mystery and seemingly mixes it with a comedy of errors. Despite my grievances with modern comedies Game Night,surprisingly, looked entertaining as its ideas could have easily make it an enjoyable comedy. After watching the film I can say that perhaps the biggest twist of the evening was how much I enjoyed Game Night.

The movie tells the story of Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams) who enjoy having a game night with their friends. However when Max’s brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler) decides to make an epic game night, the evening is turned upside when Brooks is kidnapped by real crooks and the group is caught in a mystery to crazy to believe. The plot to Game Night did not go the way that I expected it to, but that was by no means a bad thing. The plot did feature a comedy of errors concept but handled it in a different way. Along with this was the story’s mystery which was effective as, while may not have been complex, it managed to work thanks to the story’s narrative. Yet this was not to say that the story did not have some puzzling directions. This was the case in how the plot handled its subplots. The subplots were effective by keeping things interesting but they had underwhelming conclusions as, rather than coming to a head, they were all but dropped by the film’s climax. Another issue was that the movie overplayed its mystery a little too much. The twists in the story were effective but with the way that things play out it does get confusing on how certain plot points fit together.

When it came to the cast the one featured in Game Night was a group worthy of any comedy. The cast featured character types that were typical in a comedy, but these tropes were used to best of their abilities thanks to the actors’ performances. Jason Bateman brought his usual wit to the character of Max while Rachel McAdams seemed comfortable in her role as Allie. The other party members brought their own flair to the cast-from the chemistry of Kevin (Lamorne Morris) and Michelle (Kylie Bunbury) to the banter of Ryan (Billy Magnussen) and Sarah (Sharon Horgan). Also adding to this cast was Kyle Chandler in his supporting role a Brooks, and Jesse Plemons who stole the show as the strange neighbor Gary. The only issue I had with the cast was that some of the character’s development was a tad inconsistent. This was notable in Max as his dilemma as, although it did make sense, it came off as sporadic. Aside from that problem this cast was a versatile one as their chemistry and delivery made them a comfortable group for movie like Game Night. Then again there was one star who stood out from the rest and that was none other than Bastion the West Highland Terrier.

As I stated earlier I am strict when it comes to comedy; but that being said I found myself relieved with Game Night as a movie that was humorous to say the least. The comedy had some issue to it; particularly with its excessive use of both pop culture references and social commentary. However despite that shortcoming the comedy was still effective in its tone and delivery as I found myself chuckling at several moments. Along with the strong sense of humor the movie also featured solid technical elements such as the score by Cliff Martinez. The music of Game Night was unexpected for a comedy, but that is not to say it was ineffective as the music stood out by featuring dynamic tunes The cinematography was also a standout feature for the movie as the work of Barry Peterson gave Game Night a stylish look, and with  the direction from Daley and Goldstein the movie was to create keen moments that were stellar for any film.

Game Night is a comedy that is as dynamic as it is entertaining. From storytelling to performances the film uses simplistic directions to make its presentation all the more effective. Although the movie does have its share of issues Game Night is able to solve its way past them as its sense of delivery does just enough to make this comedy a clever one that brings a sense of style to the genre.

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