‘Game Night’ lacks humor, ignores necessary plot elements

‘Game Night’ bores with lackluster plot, humor

A night of games, thrill, and bad jokes seems to be the basis for a terrible movie plot and bland characters.

“Game Night” is a comedic mystery movie about friends being dragged into dangerous criminal activity due to an unfortunate turn of events. Despite the movie’s potential with an original plot, it falls flat due to many dull jokes and boring scenes.

The film focuses on Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams), a married couple who enjoy hosting game nights for their friends. After a visit from Max’s brother, Brooks (Kyle Chandler), game night is kicked up a notch with a murder-mystery game. During the game, the line between reality and fantasy is blurred, as Brooks is kidnapped by a real crime organization, and it is up to Max, Annie and their friends to figure out what is happening.

Overall, the premise is original and offers a lot of opportunities for hilarious moments and plot twists. But this movie does not utilize these opportunities very well, as most of the jokes are forced and the plot is not engaging.

These problems can mainly be contributed to the cast and the character interactions throughout the film.

Bateman and McAdams’ chemistry in the movie feels natural and is sometimes entertaining to watch, as their characters have different personalities. But most of their scenes are not funny, as they attempt a joke that does not compliment their comedic styles, or they do not act off one another.

It is not just Bateman and McAdams that deliver all the bad jokes. The supporting characters are the worst offenders of poor comedy.

Max and Annie’s friends, such as Ryan (Bill Magnussen), Sarah (Sharon Horgan), Kevin (Lamorne Morris) and Michelle (Kylie Bunbury), are all bland and could have been replaced by any actor.

There is nothing funny about these actors’ performances. Their scenes seem unnecessary, compared to rest of the movie, which concentrates more on the kidnapping of Brooks and the shenanigans that take place.Game-Night-New-film-poster

The worst parts of the movie occur whenever the focus switches from the mystery element in the film to the relationship between Kevin and Michelle, or the issues between Ryan and Sarah. Despite the problems with Bateman and McAdams, the scenes that focus on Max and Annie are more interesting and funny compared to the side characters and their unresolved issues.

Because of the actors and their performances, the entire movie felt like a glorified “Friends” episode with overused character dynamics and cheesy jokes that get a few chuckles at most. I did not enjoy anything about the characters and their interactions in the movie.

The characters were a big reason why I did not like this film. The plot was another factor that fueled much of my boredom while watching the movie.

“Game Night” has an original story concept that I really appreciate. It is the execution of this concept that makes the movie boring.

Throughout the first half of the film, the plot lingers on the idea that someone is behind the whole kidnapping of Brooks and the crime organization. After a few unnecessary plot twists later in the film, the focus goes back to the original idea that there is something greater behind all the crime.

There is no point in adding plot twists if they have no affect on the story. Just because the twist is unexpected does not mean that it is spectacular or changes the course of the plot.

“Game Night” is a movie that fails in comedy and story. Some people may enjoy the humor in this film. But it was not something that I enjoyed, nor was the storyline entertaining.

I give “Game Night” a two out of 10.

Author: Adán Rubio

Staff writer for the Plainsman Press.

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