Every now and then, you just need to watch one of those films. You know the ones: formulaic comedies with characters that could be played by any one of dozens of comic actors, complete with some form of vaguely relatable gimmick. Enter Game Night.

Going in, Game Night appears to tick all of those boxes: a group of friends gather for a game night, only to find themselves caught up in a real-life mystery. With Jason Bateman – king of the run-of-the-mill comedy movie – starring, it seems to be a slam dunk for thoughtless Saturday night viewing.

And then, we meet the rest of the cast. With Billy Magnussen, Lamorne Morris, Kyle Chandler and Jesse Plemons filling out the cast, Game Night begins shaping up to something far more entertaining than it might have been.

There’s some low-brow humour, but there’s also a deeply comedic performance from Jesse Plemons, who is by far the funniest aspect of the entire film. There’s also a surprising amount of depth to many of Game Night‘s characters, which serves to elevate the movie above its otherwise generic premise.

While the “game night gone wrong” is a perfectly reasonable jumping off point, Game Night actually takes it to heart thematically, with the film’s characters inadvertently referencing popular games over the course of the night. This adds an extra layer to the movie for those watching, and helps distract from many of Game Night‘s weaker points.

While it is, by no means, a particularly interesting movie, it’s entertaining and it’ll likely summon a few genuine laughs, and it’s all put together in such a way that it’s simply fun.

Game Night is something of a guilty pleasure movie, as it’s lacking heavily in any logic, but it’s short, sweet and surprisingly entertaining.

Rating: 60%

Summary: Particularly appealing to those times you’re in need of a thoughtless watch, Game Night is able to entertain without really saying anything at all. Pointless fun, with plenty of unexpectedly good laughs.