GAME NIGHT

JA­SON BATE­MAN AND RACHEL MCADAMS are in it to win it in a wickedly funny com­edy

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WHIP­PING TO­GETHER LAUGHS and thrills in am­ple mea­sure, this im­mensely en­ter­tain­ing ac­tion com­edy stars Ja­son Bate­man and Rachel Mcadams as Max and An­nie, a sub­ur­ban mar­ried cou­ple whose weekly game night with their com­pet­i­tive pals gets alarm­ingly out of hand after Max’s an­noy­ingly cool older brother Brooks (Kyle Chan­dler) be­comes in­volved.

On the evenings when Max and An­nie get to­gether with their chums, in­clud­ing fel­low mar­ried cou­ple Kevin and Michelle (Lamorne Mor­ris and Kylie Bun­bury), and en­thu­si­as­tic dimwit Ryan (Billy Mag­nussen), the games in ques­tion tend to be of the Triv­ial Pur­suit, Pic­tionary and Scrab­ble va­ri­ety.

How­ever, when the rich and flashy, Corvette sports-car-driv­ing Brooks in­vites the gang over to his rented lux­ury home, he raises the stakes – much to Max’s cha­grin.

Brooks has re­ally gone to town, hir­ing a com­pany to stage a mys­tery night com­plete with a bo­gus kid­nap­ping and a trail of clues to solve. Yet as the night un­folds it quickly be­comes hard to tell what is fake and what is per­ilously real.

Game Night ben­e­fits from a cun­ningly in­tri­cate plot, nim­ble ac­tion and a witty script, but as events spi­ral dan­ger­ously for the friends it is the per­for­mances that make the film so much fun.

Bate­man and Mcadams are en­gag­ing leads, and they re­ceive en­joy­able sup­port from Mag­nussen and Sharon Hor­gan (as his work col­league-cum-date), and from the likes of Danny Hus­ton and Michael C Hall (as a cou­ple of the bad­dies the friends en­counter).

Best of all, though, is Jesse

Ple­mons as the awk­ward next-door neigh­bour Gary, a lovelorn di­vorced cop whose des­per­a­tion to join the play­ers proves both creep­ily hi­lar­i­ous and oddly touch­ing. 2018, 15, 100min

THE NEW RULES WERE GET­TING JA­SON AND RACHEL HOT UN­DER THE COL­LAR

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