Thursday, 3 November 2016

'Keeping Up With The Joneses' Review


2016 has been a mixed year for comedy. There have been huge failures like 'The Boss', 'Mother's Day' and 'Zoolander 2' that have really left a negative impact on the year as a whole. However, there have been some gems including action-comedies 'Keanu' and 'Central Intelligence'. Looking to follow in the footsteps of those two is the new action comedy 'Keeping Up With The Joneses' featuring a very impressive cast. Unfortunately, there is little the cast can do to save this disappointing film.


Jeff (Zach Galifianakis) and Karen Gaffney (Isla Fisher) have a great life together in the suburbs when they notice that a new couple has moved in across the street. Tim (Jon Hamm) and Natali Jones (Gal Gadot) are a seemingly perfect couple with their good looks and fancy cars. Karen soon starts to suspect that the Gaffney's aren't who they say that they are. Soon enough, the Gaffney's find themselves in a situation very unlike themselves.

I feel myself starting my reviews on comedies this year the same way. And that is by saying that if a comedy isn't funny, then simply, it fails to do its job. Luckily for the film, that is not its only problem - but we'll get to the rest later. The comedy in this film is very poor with only a few chuckles coming throughout the film. A combination of the writing and the directing must take the blame for this as on many occasions, they combine to create some terrible scenes creating awkward moments for the audience. For example, there are a number of times where Zach Galifianakis' character will make a joke, be the only one laughing at said joke for a couple of seconds for there to be a quick, abrupt cut. This had no positive effect whatsoever which made it baffling to see that they stuck with the formula again and again.

The cast features some great talent with Galifinakis showing his comic talents throughout his stand up and films like 'The Hangover' and 'Due Date'. Isla Fisher, Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot back him up and are surprisingly the better parts of the film. This is no fault to Galifianakis as he tries, but his character is too boring and never does anything that is really that funny or memorable. Gal Gadot does get a few good lines in the film but Isla Fisher is the one who gives this film a tad of credibility. Her facial expressions and reactions to whatever was going on were the some of the best parts of the film. The actors do seem to try and you can't fault them too much. It just didn't work out for them in this film.

Moving on from the comedy aspects, we now go to the other genre this fits into, action. You can barely call this film an action movie as there are one car chase, a few explosions and a small showdown in the finale. It is not enough to make it seem as if the Joneses are deadly spies as this aspect of the film fails to deliver as well. You'd expect the ending of an action comedy to be memorable with something worthy happening. However, it is a very poor and cheap ending with nothing happening that satisfies the audience.

The film builds itself on the Gaffney's fascination with the Joneses to the point where they become suspicious of the couple. This could've created some great moments as the Gaffney's snoop around leaving them in awkward positions. The film seems to give up on this premise very quickly which seemed like a wasted opportunity. It isn't even subtle with the Joneses behaviour making it very clear that they are indeed spies. This also would have added some more intrigue into the film. Instead, the film gives everything away which in hand, doesn't allow the film to do anything that entertaining.

Overall, 'Keeping Up With The Joneses' is a very poor action comedy. Not many highlights in a film that you won't remember much of. The cast's talent isn't used nearly as well as it could've been, as poor writing ultimately is the downfall for this film. Not worth seeing.

Final Verdict = 

So have you seen 'Keeping Up With The Joneses'? If so, what did you think of it? I hope that this review was useful for if you were planning on seeing the film- I urge you not to. Once again, thank you for taking the time to read my review, it is much appreciated!

By Angus McGregor