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Fri, Feb. 28

Even if it isn't for everyone, ‘Game Night’ is chuckle-worthy

The friend who turns every event into a competitive sport. The show-off who is the life of the party. The socially inept friend who doesn’t quite fit in. The cute couple you love to hate. These personalities collide in the chuckle-worthy flick, “Game Night.”

Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams) are made for each other. Both are highly competitive and can turn the most sedate and mundane event into an Olympic sport. They enjoy a weekly game night with fellow sports fanatics Ryan (Billy Magnussen), Kevin (Lamorne Morris) and Michelle (Kylie Bunbury). Yet, lurking in the shadows of their docile cul de sac is the disgruntled and socially awkward, Gary (Jesse Plemmons).

A recent divorcee, Gary was informally banished from the group due to his disquieting depression. Alone with his thoughts and only friend, his fluffy dog, Gary schemes his way back into their lives. In a fun plot twist, Gary isn’t the only one who is out to win a place within the group. Game Night goes terribly wrong and the team has to decipher a series of clues to find a kidnapped team member.

Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams share authentic chemistry. Bateman brings his naturally dry-wit to any comedic romp and never disappoints. McAdams has fun with the material but never takes herself so seriously the audience can’t appreciate the fun of hokier scenes. Lamorne Morris and Kylie Bunbury bring a warm friendship to their role as a couple who have been together since they were 14-years old.

A quest for the truth of suspected infidelity provides the backdrop for one of their humorous scenes. The surprising scene-stealer is drama-heavy, Jesse Plemmons (“The Post”). He instills Gary with 2-parts “Psycho” and 1-part “Disturbia.” He begins each scene with a slow, methodical cadence so unnerving and chill-producing that laughter seems offensive. Plemmons is reunited with fellow “Friday Night Lights” veteran, Kyle Chandler, who – much like McAdams – enjoys the full-frontal slapstick of his highly-physical scenes. There is also a cameo by “Dexter,” Michael C. Hall.

If you are an avid fan of slapstick comedies and require a high quantity of popcorn-spitting laughs, “Game Night” won’t give you explosive laughter but there are decent chuckles and smiles. For you, this film may earn 3 out of 5 Miners.

For fans who enjoy watching veteran actors take a break from dramas and thrillers and have a fun time with healthy, clean laughter this film may earn 4 out of 5 Miners.

For fans of raunchy, dark comedies with a saucier brand of witticisms, you may want to skip this one.

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