Game Night could legitimately be the funniest movie of 2018 for one very specific reason
We're so happy to report that the LOLs come thick and fast with this movie.
Comedies are kinda like horrors, in that when they're good, they can go on to become some of the biggest success stories of the year. But when they're bad, oh boy, can they be an endurance test.
And for a while there it seemed like Hollywood completely forgot how to make funny movies.
As we noted in our Worst Of 2017 list, films like Daddy's Home 2, CHiPS, and Fist Fight were claiming to be comedies, but surely there needed to be jokes for them to make that claim?
More and more often, cinema-goers were forced to turn to the indie film-makers to get their big-screen LOLs on, which is why the likes of The Big Sick, Ingrid Goes West, The Meyerowitz Stories and Lady Bird have proven to be so popular.
In fact, 2017's best comedy - Girls' Trip - was pretty much ignored by audiences outside of the US. The $19 million production went on to become a huge hit, making $140 million worldwide... but $115 of that came from the States alone.
This is why we can't have nice things.
Hopefully the same won't be said for Game Night, which is legitimately in with a shout for being the funniest movie of 2018.
Anyone who has ever seen the Michael Douglas thriller The Game will see some plot similarities, as well as bits and pieces from the likes of Three Amigos!, Tropic Thunder and The Man Who Knew Too Little.
A group of couples - Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, Sharon Horgan and Billy Magnussen, Lamorne Morris and Kylie Bunbury - get signed up for a murder mystery night by their charming friend (Kyle Chandler), and it all starts off fun and innocently enough, until an actual kidnap plot kicks in without any of them noticing, and before long they're "play-acting" in stand-offs and gun fights, with no idea that it is all for real.
While there isn't a huge amount of originality in the premise, absolutely everybody on board gives it their all, with the ensemble cast joined by a few surprise cameos, but also features Jesse Plemons as a brilliantly scene-stealing creepy neighbour who has been uninvited to the game nights but wants nothing more than to be a part of them again.
The joke count is through the roof, and - THANK THE CINEMA GODS - most of them land magnificently. Anyone who was getting fed up with watching comedians just kind of wing it through entire scenes and hope the director can edit together their best jokes, we finally have a comedy that shows the importance of writing a good joke, and getting a good actor to deliver it well.
Not to discount the ab-libbing skills of comedy actors, but sometimes it is nice to watch a funny movie that involves a little, y'know, planning. Some set-up, and some pay-off. Not just throwing every joke at the wall and seeing what sticks.
Game Night is out in Irish cinemas from Friday 2 March.
Clip via Warner Bros. Pictures