KEEPING UP WITH THE JONSES (2016)

KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES

Directed By: Greg Mottola
Written By: Michael Lasieur
Cinematography: Andrew Dunn
Editor: David Rennie 

Cast: Zach Galifianakis, Jon Hamm, Isla Fisher, Gal Gadot, Patton Oswalt, Ming Zhao, Matt Walsh, Kevin Dunn, Bobby Lee, Ari Shaffir 


A suburban couple becomes embroiled in an international espionage plot when they discover that their seemingly perfect new neighbors are government spies.

This is a comedy that should work. Yet constantly falls short. As everything seems routine and tired. As it seems like a reverse or more like a variation or MR. AND MRS. SMITH .

Even the premise seems like a high concept own from the 1980’s that is dependent on the talent to make it work. Their chemistry maybe overcoming the shortcomings of the script. Here while the cast is willing they seem so randomly put together that it becomes more a hodgepodge.

While Jon Hamm and Gal Godot look perfect for their roles that is part of the problem they bring nothing new to them. Even when they are supposed to be comedic they come off as debonair and more like action stars. They stay that way so that they never get to let loose or seem like they are having fun by being silly.

Meanwhile Zach Galafanackis can be funny. Usually i am a big fan but here he seems to be such a sensitive middle class character that while he can be funny it Is more the script demands then his actual talent. So that he feels like a bad fit. He is best when doing his own brand of comedy here he feels forced and bound. That while it works it comes at a costs.

Isla Fischer is a different demand as her character is supposed to be more suspicous and a busy body who at times is more keel and barely sexual. She comes off and looks like such a sexpot throughout. So while she is adept at the comedic demands and scenes. She is also in short and tight outfits which makes her more overtly sexy. So much so that she could have played this role if the sexy spy.

It just seems that like this film Isla fisher is talented and is best when doing comedy but always Seems to either be Miscast usually as she is better than the material. As she still has never gotten a role as memorable or as strong as THE WEDDING CRASHERS, but has made the best of some of the films she has shined in. One just wishes she was offered better. As she and the villain were the only aspects of the movie that set themselves apart and feel funny. Here she seems inspired as usual when she plays slightly off kilter characters. This one starts off normal before slowly sliding into more out there.

While the film has a bunch Of talent in front of the camera. Everything seems so basic that it comes off as bland. Even the action sequences are well done but don’t dazzle or come off as anything particularly special or noteworthy. It just seems to fill in so t he right boxes to be a slave to genre expectations.

Everything and everyone just seems to be going through the motions. No more or no less. Like a first draft in need of some additions to spice it up or a final draft that has had all the originality drained from it.

Zach Galifinakis is hilarious and can be funny. It’s understandable he wants to stretch as an actor and not repeat himself. Though his most memorable roles are when he plays the more outrageous character. Rather than more the straight man or the comedic relief who is supposed to be the more normal character. Which seems more what he is playing here only a little more dumb and silly. Though his performance in DUE DATE seemed a little like too much of the same.

As the film boils down to Zach and Isla playing more middle aged everyday people who get taken for a ride and love out an exciting spy adventure tagging along and being in the middle of it all. Just like the audience they want for the movie. Only the movie wants to be your adventure for at least 90 minutes then will bring you safely back into your everyday life. Only this rollercoaster seems a bit disappointing. Even though it provides you all that was promised.

While you get what you expect. Even fans of the actors might find themselves let down by this film.

Grade: D+

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