Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Keeping Up with the Joneses - Movie Review

Keeping Up with the Joneses, directed by Greg Mottola (Superbad, Adventureland), shows us what might happen if an international spy couple were to invade the perfect suburban neighborhood. The movie features an ensemble cast that includes Jon Hamm, Gal Gadot, Zach Galifianakis, Isla Fisher, Matt Walsh, and Kevin Dunn.

The Review:
This is one of those movies where you think it could either be really, really good, or...something else. Oddly enough, it ends up falling somewhere in the middle as Greg Mottola has created a film that is entertaining on many levels yet still not a very memorable experience. The pacing of the story is very well thought out with a nice mix of humor, action, and humorous action. This is by no means a big, Mission Impossible style thriller, but it definitely gives you the feeling that the world you're seeing has a lot more going on around it than what is put on screen. This ends up being both a good and bad thing as it keeps the story contained and focused on the interaction between the characters yet leaves you feeling like it could have been something much bigger.

The most brilliant thing about this film is having the physically impressive Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot playing opposite the more diminutive Zach Galifianakis and Isla Fisher which adds an obvious physical element to the way we see each of the couples. Hamm and Gadot could easily fill in for Tom Cruise if he had to take a break from his blockbuster super spy duties while I could see Zach and Isla's characters easily in the role of a quaint little TV sitcom. That being said, it was really nice to see Galifianakis breaking farther away from his iconic role in the Hangover movies while showing a versatility and star power I don't know that he's been able to display up until now.

Also, I have to throw this out there. If you are someone who has yet to be sold on Gal Gadot being a legitimate movie star, super hero, leading lady, this movie will go a long way towards swaying your vote. Every scene she is in could be considered a jaw dropping moment for many different reasons and all of it makes me feel even better about her taking on the role of Wonder Woman in the DC movie universe.

The Verdict:
Keeping Up with the Joneses does a solid job of splitting time between being an action movie and a comedy although it will have a hard time keeping up when compared to other successful films within either genre. Good performances from the four leading cast members help to keep the movie going and I would say it is definitely worth a watch although probably not something you'll remember seeing six months from now so take that for what it is.

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