‘Game Night’ is Hollywood’s comeback – review

David McDonald, Staff writer

While “Game Night” is not as content-rich as its distant cousin, its biggest impact was its déjà vu factor.
The zany crime adventure, while less philosophical, rang a distant bell to the Michael Douglas masterpiece “The Game.”
The film’s layout was reminiscent in its general story progression to the 1997 flick.
Both films had a coherent premise, but treated the audience to twists throughout.
For those drawn to films that are more layered and thought-provoking like “The Game,” “Game Night” has its genius moments.
What makes it an excellent piece is its accessibility to general audiences.
It took the same concept as its predecessor did and created a film that was funnier, more adventurous and more fun.
From the beginning, the film’s childlike charm took hold and endeared the audience to its main protagonists, a competitive couple, Max and Annie, who fell in love over a night of competition.
As the movie presses on, Max’s (Jason Bateman) more successful brother, Brooks (Kyle Chandler), enters the scene, unraveling the film into a controlled yet adventurous sense of tomfoolery.
Soon, seemingly boring characters and narrative exploded into a colorful barrage of insanity, yet maintained the plot’s clever, if incognito, ode to its more tragically dark inspiration “The Game.”
After Brooks decides to host a game night to upstage his brother, the night goes awry when the live-action game turns into an actual kidnapping and Max, Annie and their friends must save Brooks in a series of farces that lead to something unexpected.
While at face value “Game Night” presents a crudely funny, nonsensical adventure, its hints of narrative acumen tease the most astute and learned audience members into a refreshing sense of déjà vu.
In the Hollywood era of parody, cash-grabs and politicization, “Game Night” perfectly balances the old, almost stale, story of a 1997 film and gives it a 21st century face-lift.
While “The Game” will remain a fond memory for well-versed cinephiles, “Game Night,” a fleeting but entertaining experience, is a subtle reminder to fatigued moviegoers that perhaps Hollywood’s creativity is back after a two-decade hiatus.

4/5 stars