Most of you can likely assume by now in my 9th year of reviewing movies that I kind of love movies.
But I have other passions. I create art, I play games (less and less), I do twitch things, and I also play board games. I actually LOVE board games, but getting older, having young kids and a family, makes it harder to spend hours with others doing the board game thing. Really, I am just trying to make it through the awkward younger years for the kids, getting them older so I can just play the games with them. That is the dream goal.
Then retirement, play more games with strangers and shops and all of that. This assumes no pandemics in the future.
So board games are a passion of mine, so I was thrilled to be able to see a movie about board games. I am hoping it takes it to a high, or even medium leve with the topic. Just something more than standard Monopoloy and Sorry bull shit. Come on, Murder Bury Win. Wow me.
Okay if this game is like Fuck Marry Kill, I know who I’d pick for all three.
Adam (Erich Lane), Barrett (Henry Alexander Kelly), and Chris (Mikelen Walker) are best friends and work friends, because together they have made and designed their own board game called Murder Bury Win. They are ready to sell it and get rich and famous as game designers. [Yes, we know game designers aren’t really famous and more like “rich”]. They put their game on Gamechanger for funding (like Kickstarter), but after a month they got no where close their goal, except for a few anonymous donors. Fuck. Their dreams are ruined.
Well, the next day, Adam gets a call from a mysterious stranger. He wants to meet up with the creators of the game Murder Bury Win and talk about it, maybe invest, maybe help out. And this dude lives out in the middle of nowhere, in the woods, by himself. The don’t even know his name.
After a terse encounter and some talking, they discover it is actually V.V. Stubbs (Craig Cackowski), one of the most famous board game designers ever. These men made their game after they were inspired by Stubbs’ biggest hit, Murder Wall. Oh great, what luck. He will help them out and maybe even choose to buy it from them, that would be a wonderful start.
And then someone dies, accidentally. Maybe. This leaves the leftover people wondering how to get out of this mess. After the murder, they have to leave no trace and accurately bury, in order to win. Can they win?
Also starring Brian Slaten as a cop.
Everyone knows if you play the murder card you are allowed to murder. That’s the rules!
Is Murder Bury Win a great game? Eh, not by my looks of it and the vague understanding of the rules. But that is acknowledged in the film as well that it needs work. So it is hard to judge this film on its board game love on that fact, but there are two elements that are really strong. One being the kickstarter-esque quality to the board game community. As far as I know, board games have been some of the most successful categories on Kickstarter, and Kickstarter has led to a huge boom in board game success. They’ve worked well together, so it was a nice element to include.
It also is clear that the writer or director really hates Exploding Kittens, and wanted to talk bad about it a few times, but they changed the title for this film. That is fair, but we still know what they meant, and I agree.
For the film itself, I really enjoyed the performances of Kelly and Walker the most. They felt the most believable, as they seemed like characters who knew the world wasn’t black and white, and had passions and dreams and actual struggles facing their decisions in the film.
The film has a decent amount of good moments, both in terms of conversation and visuals. But almost too many moments that don’t seem to work well either. For example, the cop scene has some good lines and moments, and also moments that don’t make a lot of sense given the situation. The scene went on for a long time, which is great as a purpose to make us uncomfortable, but it allowed these questionable parts to pop up more frequently, so it is hard to really get an overall great feeling out of it.
It has potential overall, just like the board game itself apparently had potential (but as a board game snob, ehhh the game looked like trash to me. Although meeples are always a plus). And it surprised me by going a bit darker than I imagined in some aspects, letting me fully call this a Dark Comedy and not just a comedy with some death in it.