Game Night manages to establish a very specific style of comedy, one that has as its center the performance of Jason Bateman. When the audience (or critic) praises a good performance, this usually shows an excess of emotions. Agonized, sad characters, who weep tragic tears or lose their heads are strong candidates to be exalted when acting is effective. Other than that, biographies are left over, giving actors the opportunity to “imitate” well-known people and show their talent.
Even the genre of comedy seems to be part of this picture. They are stars that can go beyond the common character that gains attention, such as Will Farrell and Jim Carrey. But there is a rather difficult kind of acting, and it is often overlooked because it does not appear as much as the others.
This is the interpretation that shows ordinary characters, normal men and women that serve as counterpoint to stressful situations, surreal and … funny. They are subtle performances that make the plot comic by making the viewer see the universe of the film through the eyes of the protagonist. And Jason Bateman specialized in exactly this.
Their roles are so similar that they appear to be the same person, even when the play is not a comedy proper. Still, it creates a rather specific style of humor. Following the line of Want to Kill My Boss, Game Night shows Bateman being beaten emotionally and trying to beat his aggressor. Worse, here the villain is his own brother.
Directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, the film tells the story of Max (Jason Bateman) who, with his wife Annie (Rachel McAdams), is glimpsed in games we’ve all known since childhood. Board games, divination or even skill and precision are part of the meetings between the couple and their friends. However, far from the sheer joke and fun that are usually part of this type of activity, Max competes to earn and see such games in a serious way (even his marriage to Annie seems based on the fact that she is a good partner in the competition).
And there is a reason for this. His brother, Brooks (Kyle Chandler), seems to be better than Max at all. When Brooks is around, Max’s ability and ability to win any game is lost, as his brother affects him emotionally. It is clear that Max’s competitiveness is due to the fact that he never won from his brother. And it is when Max and Brooks meet again to compete that Game Night comes to life, especially when the competition goes far beyond what was planned, with Brooks’ personal life affecting everyone.
With the presence of fun little characters, like an eccentric policeman who also loves games (Jesse Plemons) and serves as a counterpoint to the “normal” character of Bateman, Game Night can get a good laugh from the audience in a feature that is able to keep this style of comedy signed by the actor.
(This article original language is portuguese. This translation was made with Google Translate)