Swanner: Game Night is an event that couples without children get to enjoy. It’s where they gather their friends together to have alcohol and snacks in the comfort of someone’s living room. In this case Max (Jason Bateman) and his wife, Annie (Rachel McAdams), are very competitive game players. Enter Max’s successful brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler), who is back in town and has offered to host a mystery game night where someone gets taken and the rest of the attendees must solve the mystery. The problem here is Brooks isn’t the wall street guy he claims, and when the kidnappers arrive they aren’t the actors who were hired for the game, they are the real thing. Now Max and his friends actually have to solve a real kidnapping before something really bad happens.
Directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, along with screenwriter Mark Perez create this fun mix of twists and turns to keep any party guest entertained. They did a wonderful job of creating a terrifying situation with all of the party-goers oblivious to what’s really going on. As they slowly realize that what’s happening is real, it just adds to more laughs. The rest of the talented cast includes Sharon Horgan, Billy Magnussen, Lamorne Morris, Kylie Bunbury and Jesse Plemons.
I’m really hoping this is a big hit for Bateman. He’s always been a favorite with his brilliant dry wit and his amazing comic timing. He should really be a much bigger star. The film has everything going for it: a very funny script with capable directors working with a cast of funny actors. The film is rated R because the situations, as funny as they are, get intense and the language gets real. Not a film for the little kids because they shouldn’t see how much fun their parents once had before they ruined their parents lives.
Swanner: Three and 1/2 stars