In Keeping Up with the Joneses, Jon Hamm, Isla Fisher, Gal Gadot and Zach Galifianakis team up for an action comedy about a suburban couple (Fisher and Galifianakis) who get sucked into a web of international intrigue and spycraft when they get a little too close to their almost too perfect new neighbors (Hamm and Gadot). Now that you know the story, take three guesses as to who the least effective comedian of the bunch is.
If you didn’t guess Zach Galifianakis … surprise! The noted funny man is the low water mark in an otherwise quite strong ensemble set. Not for lack of effort, just for lack of connection. The script doesn’t do Galifianakis any favors, loading him with desperate, grabbing at straws dialogue and a bit of a “sad sack” vibe that doesn’t serve much of anything in the story. Meanwhile, Fisher crushes with earnest delivery and some great physical comedy, Jon Hamm plays for humor as the sensitive cool guy and Gal Gadot rocks confident one-liners and scores plenty of situational laughs. It’s great to see her put some real range on display here as we anticipate her feature length turn as Wonder Woman.
Keeping Up with the Joneses is a fun, if frivolous, venture into the action comedy realm. The rather uninventive plot and script get a boost from the talent clearly having a blast at the center of all the explosions and increasingly unlikely pickles. Particularly enjoyable are a couple of moments shared between Fisher and Gadot as the former tails the latter to prove her suspicions, leading to an awkward meeting that gives way to something more genuine. It’s subtle and relatable and shows the film at it’s finest.
You could do worse for your time, but with prestigious dramas approaching at a rapid click, it’s hard to see Keeping Up with the Joneses as much more than the death rattle of an uneven summer at the movies.
Keeping Up with the Joneses
Director: Greg Mottola
Writer: Michael LeSieur
Runtime: 1h 45mins
Image: Courtesy 20th Century Fox
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