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Westside Steve

Game night review

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Game Night
New Line
R.                 93 min
Remember that even though the late winter and spring time is where the studios dump the films that have no Oscar buzz that doesn’t mean that there isn’t still some entertainment out there. GAME NIGHT is a good example. I don’t know exactly what you would call it but this is a sub-genre of action comedy. You know, a situation starts out one way and unexpectedly turns into something else and you’re never quite sure which is fake and which isn’t. Often these movies are entertaining if, like here, the writers assemble the plot devices in the right order. It’s a good idea to start off with a charismatic cast and Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams as Maxx and Annie plus Kyle Chandler has Brooks, Maxx somewhat overbearing brother, are good choices. In many groups of friends there’s  that one dork that everyone tries to avoid and here it’s next door neighbor Gary played by Jesse Plemons, who, though a little bit creepy, might just have a part to play.
Every week Maxx and Annie and 6 other friends get together for what they called Game Night where the group of friends plays charades and I’m guessing other Interactive games, when one week Brooks suggest everyone come to his spectacular home to play and equally spectacular game along the lines of one of those murder mysteries complete with props and actors. Okay, I don’t think anybody will be shocked when it turns out that’s something goes wrong and the bogus game gets mixed up with real bad guys and actual danger. Or maybe it doesn’t? Who knows. Anyway that’s the idea and that’s why it’s fun. More than once along the way I was disappointed because I thought that I’d figured out what was going on but please to learn that I’d guessed incorrectly. The dialogue was quirky to the point of annoyance at the outset but once you get used to it it’s fine.  I don’t think anyone involved with this flick needs to save shelf space for an Academy Award next winter but what the hell?

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