Clue finally came out with a remake in the form of a murder mystery game night for 6 friends. Actually 5 friends and a stand in as for the date as one of them is a womanizer who see a different woman each week. I am just kidding about the Clue remake part but who else got that same feeling when watching the trailer for this latest comedy by directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein. You know, those men responsible for the remake/sequel Vacation and for the stories of Spider-man: Homecoming and Horrible Bosses 1&2. So, you already know this movie is in the right hands to make writer Mark Perez’s story comes to life. Perez’s track record includes writing films for The Country Bears, Accepted, and Herbie: Fully loaded. What an interesting combo. As you might question the quality of this film just from that list of movies, you will be pleasantly surprised that this pairing works so well on so many levels, you will be jealous you never had a game night like this one.
Horrible Bosses alum Jason Bateman is paired up with long absent from the comedy world, Rachel McAdams as Max and Annie who are notoriously competitive and serves as the driving force for their love story as game playing enthusiast. Each week, they get together with friends to have game night with some good old-fashioned games we all grew up with such as Pictionary, Charades, Scrabble, etc. With the arrival of Max’s brother Brooks, played by Kyle Chandler (TV’s Friday Night Lights), Max and his friends are in for one hell of a night as Brooks decides to up the stakes and host a murder mystery party. Brooks is kidnapped right in front of his guest and its up to the rest to figure out his location to win the game, save his life, or both. It’s a just game, right?
Watching the trailer, I found the comedic elements questionable. I love board games so much how could I pass up the opportunity to see this film. Here is the kicker, THIS MOVIE IS ALSO A THRILLER. Not to be confused with a horror comedy. This film has the laughs and the elements of a full-blown thriller that will keep you on your toes from beginning to end. I didn’t think such a thing could be pulled off. In the beginning with a few attempts at jump scares, I wasn’t sure of the tone they were going for but once everything really picked up, the stakes are high and no matter how ridiculous or comical it may look, there are reasons to be on the edge of your seat.
Each of the characters I thought were pretty good. Nice acting and chemistry with each other. McAdams shines as she reminded us that she still knows how to have fun and be funny when given the opportunity. The supporting cast was recognizable and funny and relatable to enjoy their screen time as they all had side stories carried out throughout the film. Not exactly relevant to the main plot of the story but how they use these supporting characters makes for an entertaining time. Lamorne Morris (TV’s New Girl) and Kylie Bunbury (TV’s Pitch and Under the Dome) was a delight. I enjoyed both players throughout the film but sadly are in the very back seat of this clown car. Up in the middle seats are Sharon Horgan (TV’s Catastrophe) and Billy Magnussen (Into the Woods) as the hilarious will they won’t they couple whose chemistry is so good and hilarious. It was a joy watching their scenes together. They played very well off each other as the smart and dumb combo worked in their favor as they tried to solve the case together.
MVP of the film is none other than Jesse Plemons of Black Mirror and TV’s Fargo fame. Plemons plays Gary, the next-door neighbor to Max and Annie. He is very weird, eccentric, intense, awkward, and a little lonely as he is still dealing with his recent divorce. His lines are delivered perfectly and along with his body language and facial expressions makes him the perfect game piece to liven up this already enjoyable movie. Plemons definitely steals the show in this comedy and you will enjoy every minute he is on-screen.
Tapped with the music, cinematography, and pacing of this film, it really feels like you are in a real-life game. The transitions used in the film makes the set pieces from a wide shot look as if you are actually watching an aerial view of a board game being played right in front of you. Some of the task they have to complete and the communication they use to work with one another hints at all of your favorite and recognizable childhood games you would play. If you decide to see the film, see if you can pick up the subtle and clever ways the directors work in all the classic board games into play to help them exceed through the film as well as metaphors for their every day lives.
Overall, I really enjoyed this film. More so than I thought I would actually. I laughed out loud more times than I can count and just looking around in the auditorium I was in, I noticed a plethora of people who also seemed to be enjoying themselves. Which also highlights another reason why I enjoyed this film. This movie is a genuine comedy that didn’t have a specific demographic in mind when making it. Honestly, anyone who enjoys comedies can watch this film. This movie is for everyone. Men, women, maybe not children because the film is Rated R. I think this also reminds those who are an adult that it is fun to just be a kid sometimes and have fun with your friends. Including tons of old school movie references, you would think this movie took place a decade ago but its all in good nostalgic fun that makes this movie a hit for me and if you enjoyed watching the trailer and familiar with having a game night or two with your friends and family, I think you will enjoy this movie. Finally, a Rated R comedy that isn’t jam packed with over the top swearing, nudity, or gory kills and thrills. Just a fun-filled movie for anyone to enjoy.
5 out of 5
Thanks for reading my review movie geeks. I hope you enjoyed the review and that it helps with your decision to watch or skip it. Tell me what games are a must have at your game night? If you saw the film, comment below with your initial thoughts of the movie, good or bad. As always, never be afraid to like what you like because every movie has at least one fan. See you at the movies.