Earlier this month, when I reviewed Winchester I mentioned that the basic criteria to judge a horror film is the effectiveness of its horror quotient and same applies for a comedy film as well. This makes reviewing horror and comedy both a lot easier, so if you are laughing sidesplittingly along with the audience in the cinema then that means it’s a success story and with Game Night this is exactly what happened.
Game Night is a black comedy with some action. Screenplay tells the story of a group of friends who take their game nights very seriously and cover the events when their game night turns into a murder mystery. Screenplay is tight with well-placed twists. All the characters are bit clichéd but work perfectly together for the plot. American comedy screenplays most of the time are missing a natural flow between character/story line development and humor. So, when there is a drama moment humor is usually missing and whenever there is a comic moment, it always lacks the connection with the plot. But best thing about Game Night is that it offers humor infused with the character/story line development and it never feels forced or disconnected.
All the characters are instantly likeable, with Jason Bateman as Max and Rachel McAdams as Annie (Max’s wife) being very real and center of the plot. Supporting cast that includes Kyle Chandler, Billy Magnussen, Sharon Horgan, Lamorne Morris, Kylie Bunbury, Jesse Plemons as the group of friends all are good in their respective parts. Chemistry among them is enjoyable and none of the character appear less important than other. To see Michael C. Hall after a long time was a delight, he needs to do more work and be more visible.
Game Night relies heavily on situational comedy and for such comedy all three elements direction, acting and screenplay must work perfectly together to create the perfect humorous moment. Also, it’s a black comedy so as a director one needs to be careful with the subject and not to cross the line with it. John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein’s direction completes the combination and presents the whole ensemble in the most decent yet fun way possible.
This movie doesn’t have any loud Jim Carry sort of moments or moments of extreme idiocy like you usually find in Melissa McCarthy films. Its decent, subtle and very light, perfect for a Desi family. This is definitely the most fun I had in ages from an American comedy. I was literally jumping on my seat with laughter and I could see the audience in the cinema having similar reaction. I go with 4 stars.
In the end I would like to thank Warner Bros Middle East and Shooting Stars for the invite to the Dubai screening of Game Night and making this review possible.