Directed by: Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley
Starring: Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams and Kyle Chandler
A fun date movie that will keep you entertained from start to finish.
Max (Bateman) and his wife Annie (McAdams), are a loving couple who met during a trivia night at a bar. Gaming and their competitive spirit has been a regular part of their lives, and they are often involved with hosting game nights for their friends.
Max has sibling rivalry issues with his older brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler), who he sees as ultra-successful and is always rubbing his success in his face. Brooks offers to host the next game night and although Max knows this is just Brooks looking for a way to show off his success, he accepts the invitation.
This game night is going to be different. Brooks has hired a murder mystery company to kidnap one of the party goers and the rest of the group will then have to “find” the kidnapped friend. To entice the group even more, Brooks is offering a prized car that happens to be Max’s favorite car of all time. ~On a personal note, the ‘69 Stingray Corvette happens to be my favorite car as well~
The game starts and a group of goons arrive, rough up Brooks and kidnap him in front of the guests who all think this is part of the show. They soon come to realize though that Brooks may not be the person he claims to be and that the kidnapping may indeed be real! A crazy coincidence that you’ll just have to buy into, otherwise you won’t enjoy the twists and turns of the movie.
What follows is a mix of comedy and dramatic mystery that while unfolding slowly at times, is filled with some funny moments and great characters. Bateman has his likable everyman persona down well, while the supporting cast does a great job carrying multiple sub-plots along the way.
This film feels like it would have been the perfect sequel to the movie Horrible Bosses. Which makes complete sense because this films directors also wrote both Horrible Bosses movies. The easy thought is that if you enjoyed Horrible Bosses you’ll enjoy this movie, but it’s a bit more than that.
This movie adds a couples element that carries the story. What I enjoyed most is that each of the couples actually get along. Sure they snip and jab at each other as couples do, but it’s always in jest and out of love. Too many films have couples who are just annoyed with each other, but this movie promotes actual healthy relationships.
The added twists throughout the movie do push the line of ‘too much’. But at an hour and forty minutes the movie never feels long.
Bateman and McAdams chemistry together seemed very easy for them. I had to double-check if they’d worked together before or maybe grown up as best friends. (Negative on the best friends and the only film they’ve both been in is 2009’s State of Play.) McAdams more than holds her own alongside the comedy veteran Bateman and I legit hope they do more together.
The breakout star of the film is Jesse Plemons who plays Max and Annie’s creepy police neighbor who is deeply disturbed following the breakup of his marriage and has taken things to a new level. Even when a scene drags a little too long, his creepiness makes it work.
The acting is quality, the story doesn’t get too over the top and the comedy may not have you knee-slapping, but you’ll laugh plenty throughout. Much love to McAdams for her Pulp Fiction impression.
You will want to stay through the credits as there are some extra scenes which round out the film nicely. Bring a date, sit back, ignore a couple of the far-fetched moments in the storyline and just enjoy this fun comedy.
7.5 outta 10