REVIEW: ‘Game Night’ is a comedy-turned-action thrill ride full of unexpected plot twists

Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams star as Max and Annie in Game Night.

Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams star as Max and Annie in Game Night. - Credit: Archant

Fusing comedy, crime, mystery, action and romance, ‘Game Night’ focuses on a group of friends who meet weekly to play board games; but when an unexpected guest turns up, things kick up several gears very quickly.

Jason Bateman (The Hangover) - who wants to be like his brother and has a complex about losing at anything - and Rachel McAdams (Mean Girls) - who wants to have a baby and start a family - star as Max and Annie whose couples game night gets turned up several notches when Max’s charismatic brother, Brooks (a deceptively charming Kyle Chandler), arranges a murder mystery party.

Complete with fake thugs and false FBI agents, there’s an irony to watching the friends watch Brooks being beaten up and kidnapped, blissfully unaware that it may not be a game after all. They’re all too concerned with their own dramas to notice that things may be going disastrously wrong.

The next hour or so follows the six super competitive friends set out to solve the case and win...

What’s clever about the plot , or slightly absurd, is that each of the couple’s problems are brought out in the middle of all the action.

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Gary (Jesse Plemons, ‘Battleship’) the creepy neighbour next door who clutches his dog Bastian at all times and just wants to be invited to play after his wife Debbie left him, is the standout character thanks to deadpan stares and lines.

Sharon Horgan is brilliant, too, just coming along for the ride thanks to Billy Magnussen’s meathead character Ryan who is criticised for dating dumb Instagram models.

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There are several brilliantly done scenes too; watching McAdams try to prize a bullet out of Bateman’s bleeding arm to realise it ricocheted off, and the entire segment involving a faberge egg being passed from floor to floor in a mansion makes for genuinely tense viewing.

‘Game Night’ is now showing at the Light Cinema in Wisbech. Visit for screening dates, times and tickets.

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