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August Keller

@WritesAugust

Moments of genuine craftsmanship mixed with insulting storytelling, Game Night shows how far style can carry a complete lack of substance. Tilt shifts shots and a synth soundtrack are used aplenty to give this film a hip and unique feel. There is an ambitious, continuous action shot that is genuinely engaging and subtle uses of CGI that add authentic comedic effects. Performances from Rachel McAdams, Jesse Plemons, Lamorne Morris and Sharon Horgon range from enjoyable to highly memorable. Yet, despite all this praise, the fundamental flaws of Game Night hold the movie back in a major way.

While clever details and wit do make their way into the script, the meat of the story is spent meandering through cliche scenes primarily motivated to get cheap laughs. This is to be occasionally expected in a comedy but there comes a point when the story being told becomes practically nothing at all. This issue is only exacerbated by the performance of Jason Bateman, who spends much more time coming off as a jerk than anything else. Condescension can be a funny trait to dip into but when it is the only note our protagonist plays, it becomes hard to root for. Deceptively packaged with sleek techniques and a surprise supporting cast, Game Night amounts to a story about almost nothing and an unintentionally dislikable hero.

Writing: 2/10
Direction: 6/10
Cinematography: 7/10
Acting: 5/10
Editing: 6/10
Sound: 7/10
Score/Soundtrack: 7/10
Production Design: 7/10
Casting: 6/10
Effects: 7/10

Overall Score: 6.0/10