Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams are winners in ‘Game Night’

I’m far from a competitive person. Other than playing tennis as a kid (and not being too shabby at it, if I do say so myself), I didn’t play any sports. I liked my video games, though, both then and now, and over the last couple of years I’ve played a few RPG board games too, though I wasn’t very good at those either. Unlike Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, I’m just not a game night person. However, I was into Game Night, which recently arrived on home video following a successful theatrical run.

In Game Night, Max (Bateman) and Annie (McAdams) are a seriously competitive couple who host a weekly game night get together with friends. Things go south when Max’s significantly more successful brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler) winds up hosting an evening at his home – a role-playing mystery game that winds up turning into the real thing. It’s up to Max, Annie and company to solve the mystery and save Brooks before he’s actually killed.

Ably directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein from a script by Mark Perez, Game Night is a tight, R-rated comedy that really rests on the shoulders of its entertaining lead couple. Both actors are always solid in anything they do, and Game Night is no exception. Bateman and McAdams have a great chemistry together – you completely buy into their relationship and root for them throughout the film. The two deliver some excellent laugh out loud moments, including a wonderful scene where Annie attempts to remove a bullet from Max’s arm. The duo, along with Chandler’s Brooks, are the film’s most rounded characters; the rest are serviceable for the plot but not particularly endearing, though they all have their moments.

Ultimately, though, Game Night is Bateman and McAdams’ film, and their work left me hoping to see them on screen together sooner than later. Considering the fact that Game Night was a box office success, even as it competed against the mammoth Black Panther, perhaps there’s a chance we’ll see round two sometime soon.

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