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  1. Published on: 03/03/2018 08:47 AMReported by: Film Critic
    Plot: A group of friends that regularly meet for game nights, get involved in a murder mystery game that gets out of hand.

    So here we have a straight comedy, a genre which I rarely review or even pay money to go and see. So you know, the marketing team have already done something wrong in intrigue.

    Plus, the fact the writers were also part of Horrible Bosses and Spider-Man: Homecoming and the casting of two likable leads had parts to play in my decision in seeing this.

    Also, the concept sounded like it could really work and the people involved behind the camera could give us an absolute treat.

    Now prepare yourself, because I really liked a lot in this.

    From the opening scene, I could already hear a really cool synthesizer-heavy score and see strong early development of the realism of how people do game-nights.

    After that, the laughs came and never stopped. As the stakes in the story kept getting higher and higher, the execution of the set-pieces were really impressive. After seeing a few of those action-packed scenes, you can feel the commitment that the director and his team have given to this film. They have given us so much in this film that we just don't see in comedies, as the technical department really come into play to enhance those situations.

    It does have moments especially at the end, where I feared like most comedies do, get over-blown with the ramped up action. But it gets just crazy enough for it to still feel organic and make me believe that what is happening on screen feels believable. As for the violence, there is a fair amount of it and it manages to never make it not-funny.

    Not only are the performances strong, but they are perfectly developed and written. I am just so happy as to how good the writing and character development was. Not one character felt wasted, they all were given a solid story-arch that made us clearly understand them and they were all given enough screen-time to have several memorable scenes.



    Jason Bateman I feel is a pretty good actor, and more than capable of carrying a comedy. He is perfectly functional job in this performance and shows his experience by carrying the film well. As also does Rachel McAdams. It is easy to forget how good she is at comedy. She has done a fair amount of serious dramas and has been very good in them. But don't forget her memorable performances in comedies like Mean Girls, Wedding Crashers and the under-rated Morning Glory. McAdams is great in this and her timing is spot-on at all the crucial moments. I continue to be a fan of hers, and I hope for more comedies involving her.

    With them being both leads, their chemistry needs to be strong and it certainly does. The comradery works throughout, and the development in their on-screen relationship was highly believable.

    There are plenty of stand-out supporting performances, which again was helped by the vibrant writing that was given in their character development. I am proud to say one of them is Jesse Plemons. He has shown us his potential in several films as a minor character. Now he is becoming more of an influential support. The dead-pan tone of his character gave the comedy some refreshing variety and the twists his character takes was a really nice surprise.

    The same can be said for Billy Magnussen. I've apparently seen him in a few films. But the only one I remember seeing him in was Into The Woods. This is a much different style of acting needed, and he was great. The timing of his characters stupidity contributed heavily to the laughter count and has some great shining moments on screen.

    From the acting aspect, I must mention that there is a cool cameo towards the end that I know will get a lot of people excited. I don't watch this particular show that they're known for. But I could hear many whispers going on in the screening I was in when this person appeared.

    I was not expecting and incredibly surprised to see a strong contribution come from its technical apartment. There are some impressive p.o.v. camera-shots that almost make you feel like you're playing Grand Theft Auto. Whilst also seeing that, I had thought during the film that it actually does play out like a video game. I'll be interested to see if you notice that as well.

    Speaking of the cinematography, there is a very cool one-take action set-piece that takes place that always gets a smile out of me. Long one-take shots are a crowd-pleaser to film lovers, and this is just another thing I was expecting to see in this.

    Also, the score is great. Lots of cool synthesizers that enhanced the pacing of the film really well. I reminded me a lot of The Neon Demon, which I adore that score. Then afterwards, I looked up as to who the composer was. I could not believe it, it was Cliff Martinez, who did, yes you guessed it, The Neon Demon. I was in such positive shock, it makes so much sense and I will be listening to this score again. Now that is a sentence I never EVER thought I would say about any comedy.

    I even noticed some cool editing moments that felt very Edgar Wright, which is always a winning formula in my book.

    I don't really have any negatives that are worth mentioning. So as comedies go, this is probably one of the strongest I have seen for quite some time. This movie had me laughing way more than I thought. I don't think I've laughed like that at a straight comedy since probably 21 Jump Street. So that alone makes this a must-watch from me. I think the gags for the most part will work with everyone. There a few references that they make that I don't think every demographic will get. But there is certainly something for everyone in this I feel.

    There is a lot going on this film. The pacing is pretty frenetic. I almost had a gripe with the final act as it felt it was going for generic ending. But some neat twists were executed to give a memorable send-off.

    This film will be ideal for couples, as you could call the film a 'couples-comedy'. So I don't often say this, but this most definitely a very good date-movie.

    If you haven't seen the trailer, avoid them. Go in cold, and you will have the best enjoyment possible.

    I am just so happy to champion a comedy. I had almost forgotten how good modern comedies can be. Go see this and cherish it, because we might not see one like this for quite a while.

    A final note. I was aware that there was a post-credits scene, and it was totally worth it. The first half of the credits is this really cool sequence that just adds to the story that you just saw. Then the short scene at the very end of the credits is pretty funny and just leaves you with another well-deserved chuckle to add the already impressive tally.

    Rating: 8/10
     

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