T'Challa, the King of Wakanda, rises to the throne in the isolated, technologically advanced African nation, but his claim is challenged by a vengeful outsider who was a childhood victim of T'Challa's father's mistake.
Michael B. Jordan,
Ballerina Dominika Egorova is recruited to 'Sparrow School,' a Russian intelligence service where she is forced to use her body as a weapon. Her first mission, targeting a C.I.A. agent, threatens to unravel the security of both nations.
Ryan (Billy Magnussen) keeps referencing an underground fight club. During a guessing game, Max (Jason Bateman) has to get Annie and his friends to guess the actor Ed Norton. Edward Norton was one of the main stars of Fight Club (1999). See more »
When Brooks gets kidnapped the door gets broken down and busted up, but in a letter shot the door looks fine and has no issues. See more »
Filled with Laughs and Action, It Will Please a Wide Audience
Sparks fly in the movie's opening scene. We're introduced to Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams), the obsessively competitive captains of their respective teams at a bar trivia night. The movie pokes a bit of fun at classic "love at first sight" moments with separate shots of the two staring lovingly at each other. They connect instantly and are soon married.
This scene paired with the opening credit sequence and reveal of the title, Game Night, is the equivalent of the directors throwing open the doors to boldly and loudly announce their presence. They grab the audience's attention and fill them with promise about what is to come. It's the most auspicious start to a comedy since The Hangover.
The statement is made-these guys are here to take chances in their aesthetic directing choices, so get ready for a ride full of rises and drops and twists and turns.
After the title reveal, the movie jumps ahead in time. Max and Annie are hosting game night. It starts off like any other, until Max's brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler) shows up. He obnoxiously announces his presence and subsequently humiliates Max in front of his friends, just as he has since they were kids. Before the night ends, Brooks promises to host next week and take game night to the next level with a mystery, of sorts.
The next week's game night starts off tame, as Brooks explains that someone is going to be taken. It'll be up the rest of the group to find this person, and the first to do so wins Brooks's new car. So, of course, no one bats an eye when two men storm in with guns and forcibly take Brooks away. But it doesn't take the other game night guests long to realize that this was not part of the plan.
From there, the night's events ensue in hilarity and surprises. Jesse Plemmons makes an appearance as the odd, uninvited neighbor and immediately steals the movie. His awkward, monotone, always-in-uniform police officer schtick deserves real acclaim. That guy has serious talent. Who knew that the bully from Like Mike would turn out to be such an accomplished actor?
Plemmons also delivers the movie's best line. I won't spoil it, but it involves Tostitos.
Overall, the performances are fun, though eclectic, which is fine because the story is set up in a way that this one couple can go here and do this funny thing while this other couple goes here and has their own funny moment. They're each bringing their own variation of humor, which gives the comedy a broader appeal.
The directors are clearly having a good time balancing the array of characters within a convoluted plot. They make daring choices that stand out. The choices don't always work, but they always catch your eye, which is enough in a movie like this. The filmmakers clearly wanted to add a little extra spice to keep the viewers on their toes (or more accurately, hunched forward, since they are sitting down).
I don't want to resort to hyperbole here, but the movie nearly reaches the point threshold of thrilling. There's the right amount of story to juggle. Anymore would be overwhelming and too much less would make the movie dry.
I'm still not sure if the entire story checks out. A few moments felt like plot holes, but I can forgive minor infractions. The end of the movie felt kind of like two kids had cleaned up just enough after their party so that mom and dad wouldn't notice. They might be suspicious, but they can't immediately say with absolute certainty that something was wrong. I, the suspicious parent, saw the house still intact, shrugged and left well enough alone.
The recommendation here is pretty easy. People like this movie. I recommend it to virtually anyone looking for a fun time at the theater.
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