Game Night hits theaters on February 23, and based on its trailer it looks like the first hilarious comedy of 2018. The film follows hyper-competitive couple Annie and Max, played by Rachel McAdams and Jason Bateman, who host a weekly game night for their friends. Their normal festivities take an insane turn when Brooks (Kyle Chandler) gets the gang embroiled in a real-life murder mystery.
Comedy isn’t what it used to be. Nuance and subtlety have gone out the window, and most studio comedies have focused on jokes rather than telling a story. In many ways, the format itself has become a relic of the past, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be revitalized. We’ve seen this recently with films like Get Out and Don’t Breathe that elevated their genre.
Game Night could be the film to breathe life into studio comedies. It might be a grandiose idea, but Game Night has all the components necessary to be a game-changer. Along with a stellar cast, Game Night also has a pair of writers with an impressive track record who can get the job done. Let’s look at how Game Night could breathe life back into feature comedy.
A Great Writer/Director Team
Game Night could be written off as another zany comedy, but it has the potential to be much more. The film’s writer/directors, John Francis Daley and Jonathon Goldstein, are some of the best working today. With credits that including Spider-Man: Homecoming and Horrible Bosses, the writing duo has refined their approach to comedy.
Spider-Man: Homecoming showed how they could weave comedy into a great story. Marvel Studios has perfected this approach to comedy, and other studio comedies should take notice. Arguably, some of the funniest films of the last few years have been films that aren’t considered comedies. Thor: Ragnarok, Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Ant-Man are examples of brilliant comedy being used to compliment a story. Goldstein and Daley’s work on Homecoming proved that they are extremely capable of writing a funny, yet heartfelt story.
Great Cast And An Intriguing Premise
Beyond the film’s writer/director team, the cast of Game Night also bodes well for its success. Jason Bateman is a multi-faceted actor with incredible comedic timing. He showcased is comedic chops on Arrested Development and Horrible Bosses, but his range is impressive. Recently, he received praised for his dramatic role on Netflix’s breakout hit Ozark.
Bateman’s star power could be enough to get fans excited, but Game Night offers another high-profile actor in Rachel McAdams. Her work in The Notebook, Wedding Crashers and About Time is nothing short of spectacular. And, much like Bateman, she has tremendous range. The pairing of Bateman and McAdam’s is perfect, and based on the trailers, they appear to have amazing chemistry.
Game Night has an impressive team behind it, but the most intriguing part of the film is its premise. The idea of putting ordinary people in extreme situations isn’t new, but Game Night has put a twist on it. A great deal of the story seems to hinge on what’s real or fake. Neither the characters or the audience will know what’s staged or what’s not. This state of unknowing lends itself to an engrossing narrative that we haven’t seen since the 1985 classic, Clue.
Based on everything we know; Game Night has all the protentional to be a fantastic film. Hopefully, it will deliver on all its promise and be the film the comedy genre desperately needs.
Game Night hits theaters on February 23, 2018.