Directed By: John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein
Written By: Mark Perez
Cinematography: Barry Peterson
Editor: David Egan, Jamie Gross & Gregory Plotkin
Cast: Jason Bateman, Billy Magnussen, Rachel McAdams, Jesse Plemmons, Kyle Chandler, Sharon Horgan, Lamorne Morris, Danny Huston, Michael C. Hall, Chelsea Peretti, Kylie Bunbury, Natasha Hall
A group of friends who meet regularly for game nights find themselves entangled in a real-life mystery when the shady brother of one of them is seemingly kidnapped by dangerous gangsters.
This is another movie that proves that mid budgeted movies can make a profit and can be more entertaining then the big budget blockbusters. As this film doesn’t have as many stakes when it comes to the box office. Which gives it more of a freedom and you don’t come in with so much expectations.
As one goes into this film with not too much and ends up pleasantly surprised and blown out of the water by how much you eventually laugh from it.
You know pretty much the type of film you are going to get, but don’t expect it to be as good or as entertaining as it ends up being. Luckily this isn’t the kind of check your brain at the door comedy or a movie built on hijinks and shock value factor. It is a fast moving comedy that gets you involved and caring. Just as it’s obvious comparison CLUE only without so much at stake or dire consequences as murder.
The film is perfectly cast as everyone does their best and proves their worth and addition to the movie. Though the biggest scene stealer is actually Jessie Plemmons as the by the books lonely cop neighbor. The film has a pretty well stocked cast. As Jason Bateman is an old hat when it comes to ensemble comedies and it’s nice to see Rachel Mcadams in comedy mode again as she makes it look so easy
This film more than makes up for screenwriters and directors John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein last film the ill advised remake/reboot of NATIONAL LAMPOON’S VACATION.
As here the humor feel more natural and not as cruel and dark as their previous work. This movie actually involves characters more than wacky situations. So that it feels more organic and not so put upon.
Though Billy Magnussen’s character is hilarious by the end. At first his character seems of normal intelligence and just fates dumb hot girls. But by the end he seems like homer on THE SIMPSONS who seems to get dumber each season. So that by the end he is the good looking dumb character and not just compared to his date.
The film is non stop laughs and energy that soon becomes infectious and never truly slows down at all. what works is the reach character and actors comedic talents are called upon and used to the fullest though it comes off with ease. As each scene is filled with a recognizable face seemingly doing a cameo. So that the film constantly feels alive.
Though clearly the film has It’s stars, it comes off more as an ensemble. Which is one of the films many strengths.
The film even has a morale or point by the end. That nicely ties everything up but still leaves the characters to be who they are naturally.