Rated: R for language, sexual references and some violence. Reviewed by: Frank Release date: February 23, 2018 Released by: Warner Brothers
When the writer gives up the twist in the first half hour of the film we know it's all down hill from that point.
Game Night had a great opportunity to turn a simple game night at the home of Max and Annie, Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams. Max has put together and interesting scavenger type of evening in which the participants will not know what is happening. He states don't believe anything you see, and the members of the party rub their hands and get ready for a different exciting evening. The film becomes interesting and even dangerous because Kyle Chandler who plays Brooks the not so reliable brother of Max has real problems.
When Brooks shows up to the party, Max has just cued in the players and they are ready for the excitement. Shortly after Brooks arrives thugs break in and take him hostage because he has something they want. The comedy works when the players and the audience believe it's all part of the farce. But we quickly learn that the action around Brooks is real even as the players laugh and cheer the kidnappers on. The gimmick here should have been belief that all the action was part of the play time arranged by Max, but we are informed quickly that Brooks is actually in trouble with his former buddies who he has double crossed.
There are some laughs but each one has been shown on the trailers both on TV and in previews at the movies and nothing new shows up to add to what we all ready know. McAdams has a delightful scene with a gangster and a small jet and there are a few others but overall the film becomes a reconciling between the two brothers who have been at odds with each other for years.
Nice try, the idea had great potential, but the writing even with some fine execution just is not enough for a good Game Night.