Review: Game Night

It’s been a bad start for movies this year. Maybe I was just spoiled by how amazing 2017 was already by this time, but out of all the 2018 movies I’ve seen, I’ve only enjoyed two movies, was lukewarm on two other movies, and absolutely hated four others.

My Worst List already has four very viable candidates.

And out of the two movies I enjoyed, I think only one of them is a viable candidate for my Best List.

 

So every time I lamented this on Twitter, I’ve gotten a couple of friends and followers asking if I saw Game Night yet… so I figured I REALLY needed to find something that can make me optimistic for 2018, and I took their suggestions.

MV5BMjMwOTY3NDg0MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTI4Nzc3NDM@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1498,1000_AL_

And you know what? I liked Game Night. It was fun. When considering the comedy genre as a whole, it is easily an exceptional film. When considering movies as a whole, it is just good.

 

 

 

A respectable majority of the comedy works really well. Much of the humor is well timed, well executed, and well crafted. One of the reasons the comedy does work well is because the movie realizes how stupid it is. And yes, some parts of the plot are really ridiculous, but the story benefits from that because the movie has enough self-awareness to play on it.

Granted, however, the “good comedy” really doesn’t occur until the “incident” happens. Before that, much of the humor was obvious and weak. Aside from that delightful montage, the beginning of the movie is just filled with poorly executed jokes that were solely in the movie as exposition and very unsubtle character development. In fact, during the first fifteen minutes or so, I was kind of shocked that this movie was being praised for how funny it was. Luckily, it eventually picks up and gets a lot funnier.

Most of the good comedy just made me chuckle, but there were about two or three parts that really had me laughing out loud. Considering I’m a cold, emotionless robot, I’d give that a stamp of approval.

 

MV5BMTk4MzMyMjIwNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjM4Nzc3NDM@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,746_AL_

 

All of the acting is fine. Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, and everyone else is good. One of the best parts of everyone’s performances is how well everyone works together. The chemistry is great, and they all seem to play off of each other really well.

The music was also fine. It wasn’t necessarily special, but it really helped with the pacing and the tone of the movie.

 

And really, I just had a lot of fun watching this movie. It was fun. Fun was had by me.

 

There are a few twists in the narrative that also made the movie enjoyable. With that said, once the movie was over, and I thought about the plot for about five minutes, I already realized that there were major plot holes that the movie either didn’t see or just pretended weren’t there.

Now no, I’m not saying that because the plot is stupid, that it’s “unrealistic”, and therefore bad (the plot IS stupid and unrealistic; but that’s not my point). I’m saying based on everything the movie had set up in their universe, and all the events that were in motion, the narrative fell apart because they forgot or skimmed over certain established parts of the plot…

MV5BMjA2MTYzNzU4MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjM4Nzc3NDM@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,746_AL_

…look, I know there’s a small possibility that some of you might be upset with me because I’m “picking apart the plot of a dumb comedy”. And if these criticisms were just tiny plot nitpicks, I probably wouldn’t even mention them. However, a very specific twist in the movie tears apart the entire narrative if you think about it for enough time. And no movie, even dumb comedies, benefits from falling apart if you think about it long enough.

 

There’s also a few conveniences that felt really lazy, but hey.

 

All criticisms aside, I still enjoyed Game Night. It’s a great movie with a lot of competencies and enough self-awareness that you can ignore some of the lazy humor, exposition, and plot holes.

 

Is it an amazing, hilarious, exceptional comedy that a lot of people seem to say it is? In my opinion, no.

Is it a run-of-the-mill, mindless, irritating comedy like I was afraid it would be? Also no.

To me, it’s somewhere in the middle. It’s a very entertaining, well executed, dumb comedy. And you know what? That’s fine with me.

6 out of 10

stevejdonahue.com

Leave a Reply