First Hit: This film was funny from the get go and I laughed out loud all the way through.
I haven’t played games in years, so I didn’t relate to Max and Annie’s (Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams respectively) way of life.
Every week they hold game night with their friends Ryan (Billy Magnussen), Kevin (Lamorne Morris), and his wife Michelle (Kylie Bunbury). They meet up at Max and Annie's house to play all sorts of games.
Each week, Ryan would bring a different girl which was part of the joke with the group because they all must look the same and they aren’t very smart.
Annie and Max's neighbor Gary (Jesse Plemons) , who is a policeman with a very hardened personality. He and his wife participated in game nights but since they divorced, Max and Annie don’t invite him and find odd and funny excuses to not invite him to game night.
When Max’s brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler) shows up, Brooks invites the group over to his house for game night. However, he has a plan that they are going to solve a kidnapping that is being put on by a company Brooks’ knows.
Unbeknownst to the group, Brooks has been a crook most his life and is wanted by The Bulgarian (Michael C. Hall). The Bulgarian’s men stage a kidnapping just before the fake kidnapping but the game night group doesn’t know the difference.
This mix up causes some very funny scenes and mix-ups which make this film work.
There is enough farce and realism in this film to make it work and I found that the funniest parts and segments had Rachel McAdams in them.
Bateman was excellent as the competitive husband Max. His reverence for the games and love for his wife Annie was well balanced. McAdams was the star of this film in that her quips and way of expressing her determination and fearlessness in an amusing way was perfect. Magnussen was very good as the guy who was mostly clueless to his women preferences. Sharon Horgan as Sarah, Ryan’s girlfriend for the big game night, was perfect. She was smart and showed determination to see the events through. Plemons was perfect as the really strange policeman neighbor who was pining for his wife. Chandler was strong as the jealous brother who over compensated by living large. Morris was great, especially when he was quizzing his wife about the movie star his wife slept with. Bunbury was excellent as Morris’ wife. She showed her strength and love in a very believable way. Hall was perfect as The Bulgarian. He was appropriately ruthless. Mark Perez wrote an excellent funny script. John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein did a good job of directing this ensemble cast to elicit a funny film.
Overall: This film was definitely worth the price of admission.