Movie Breakdown: Game Night

February 22, 2018


Pre-Screening Stance:

Is anyone actually excited about Game Night?  I mean, I dig Jason Bateman, but his comedy film track record isn’t particularly good.  Maybe Rachel McAdams or Kyle Chandler will make this one a winner?  I don’t know.  Either way, can’t say my expectations are high here.

Post-Screening Ramble:

Game Night isn’t quite a success, but it’s not terrible either.  Co-directed by John Francis Daley (he once starred in Freaks And Geeks) and Jonathan Goldstein (he wrote Spider-Man: Homecoming), the film is a surprisingly well crafted, fairly funny affair with adequate action and a swift pace.  Of all those things, I think it’s the succinct storytelling that deserves the most praise, as it makes the film actually feel shorter than its 100 minute runtime.  How rare!  Personally, I think too many comedies these days let bad jokes stretch on for too long, so it’s nice that Daley and Goldstein keep Game Night nice and tight.  Unfortunately though, a movie’s most redeeming quality can’t be that it doesn’t take forever to end, there has to be more, and there just isn’t a whole lot here.  I loved Jesse Plemons’ weirdo cop Gary, but everyone else is pretty forgettable.  The story serves up a nice couple of twists, but in general it’s riddled with so many overly convenient plot points that nothing anyone does seems to actually matter.  Also, while there are some really clever jokes, there are too many low brow layups.  Talk about hit or miss.

If you’re in the mood for something mindless and moderately entertaining, then Game Night is worth checking out this weekend.

One Last Thought:

Co-directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein employ tilt shift a lot through the movie, and since it makes everything look miniature and toy-like, it really drives home the film’s game theme.  Kudos to them for this bit of cleverness


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