Playtime’s Over (Game Night review)

Everything about this film seemed like it was doomed to fail. For starters, it stars Jason Bateman, who though I love in Arrested Development, it can’t be denied his films have been very hit and miss.  The premise looked like It would be weak, and it generally seemed like Game Night would be a really naff comedy. What a joy to say that this film is actually a genuinely brilliant comedy gem.

The film tells the story of Max and Annie, a husband and wife who host weekly games nights, where their friends come over and play board games. One day, Max’s successful brother returns and says that he has planned a murder mystery games night, where the participants must discover who will get kidnapped. However, when things start going wrong, they soon discover that what is happening might be a lot more real than they first thought.

The first thing to say about this film is that it’s really, properly funny. It stars a whole host of quirky characters that all get their time to shine, and all have some great jokes to tell. One standout is Max and Annie’s neighbour, a hilariously creepy but misunderstood policeman played by Jesse Plemons.

Additionally, the action and thrills are also very gripping. The film has mastered the tone of joke, thrill, joke, thrill and delivers both in abundance. The score too is fantastic. Composed by Cliff Martinez of ‘Drive’ fame, its electronic beats soar over the action, and add great pace to the film.

The film is a must-see comedy, especially if you’re a fan of David Fincher’s sometimes forgotten masterpiece ‘The Game’ (and I do admit, there are definite parts in Game Night that have been ‘lovingly borrowed’ from The Game). It was a welcome surprise and proves that comedy films can still be done right.

7 Stars

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