Loves: Jon Hamm, Gal Gadot
Likes: Isla Fisher, Hollywood Handbook
Dislikes: How much I actually like this movie
Hates: Movies without Jon Hamm
Why are you being so serious?
Zach Galifianakis can really pick a role. In Masterminds, he’s a country boy with dreams of being a spy that sort of come true. For The LEGO Batman Movie, he’s a bright take of the oft dreary Joker. And in Keeping Up with the Joneses, he’s a by the book HR rep who just wants to play by the rules. Thanks to a decent script, co-stars who can sell a role and fine action, Joneses mostly excels.
Galifianakis plays Jeff Gaffney, a hapless HR worker at an Apple/Google hybrid company. When his new, perfect neighbors Tim and Natalie (Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot) move in next door, Gaffney’s wife, Karen (Isla Fisher) grows suspicious of their pristine life. It eventually comes to light that the Joneses are undercover spies. Tim grows feelings for his newfound friend but Natalie says they have to keep them at an arm’s length.
The story is, admittedly, predictable and not very good. But the action sequences far outweigh many ill aspects of this movie. The script from Michael LeSieur is nothing to write home about but the direction is alright, keeping the action focused. This movie’s aesthetic suffers from the dreaded soft focus effect like Bad Moms and it does detract from the seriousness of the plot. Director Greg Mottola is able to make the action scenes pop and performances from the four leads during the first one in particular are exceptional.
Having watched the other 2016 Galifianakis led action comedy, I can say that neither are must watches. But Joneses is so unbelievable that it stands out as the better comedy. The way Hamm surrenders a friendship to his male counterpart is great. Fisher does nagging wife well. And Gadot is stone cold.
Should you watch Keeping Up with the Joneses?
Joneses had something that Masterminds didn’t. Still, though, they’re both not very good action comedies. If you miss it, Joneses will not completely waste your time.