South Dakota State University's Student-Run Independent Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Student-Run Independent Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Student-Run Independent Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

‘Game Night’: impossible to hate, dark, witty comedy

WARNER BROS. Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams star as aspriring parents in “Game Night.” The film opened with a $17 million over the weekend, putting it at the number two spot after “Black Panther.”

Editor’s Note: The grading system used here is similar to the 10-point scale used in SDSU courses.


I’ve never been a board game kind of person. Don’t get me wrong, I can get competitive when it comes to games like Monopoly or Scrabble; but a board game isn’t the first thing I reach for when I have friends over.

If game nights are supposed to be as much fun as watching “Game Night,” I’m seriously considering switching over to this tradition when I get together with friends. The movie is undeniably fun and extremely self-aware, crafting its best jokes by subverting audience expectations for what should happen.

The premise is both brilliant and stupid: three couples get together for a normal game night, thinking they’ll be playing a regular murder mystery game. But, the friends mistake their host’s kidnapping as part of this game and must spend the rest of the night trying to save him.

The couple we follow most of throughout the film is Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams), who are trying to conceive. The movie addresses classic midlife crisis questions for the couple. Why does the couple want a child? Are they ready to be parents? Why is Max’s sperm ineffective? Typical couple drama.

The unabashed creativity that’s poured out into this screenplay should be applauded. You get to watch McAdams remove a bullet from Bateman’s arm using internet suggestions and convenience store supplies. There’s even an entire scene where the group of friends plays keep-away with an expensive Fabergé egg.

OK, so where does this film go wrong? That would be where almost every slapstick comedy tends to go wrong. The film doesn’t take itself as seriously as it should.

Yes, this is a movie about six friends fighting mob gangsters while referencing the “Taken” films. It’s not exactly realistic, but that shouldn’t stop the emotional impact of the film. At its core, the film should have been more faithful to its subject: a suburban couple in fear of settling down.

Instead, “Game Night” opts for all-out comedy, even when addressing the more serious aspects of the story. But to its credit, the movie makes up for this with sheer force of character strength of the cast and razor-sharp writing.

This movie opened with a meager $17 million at the box office this weekend. The film is being largely overshadowed by the more impressive “Black Panther,” which is a shame for a comedy this surprisingly inventive.

As far as slapstick comedies go, this is definitely one of the good ones. If you’re looking for something to do besides play Monopoly tonight, I’d roll with watching “Game Night.”

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