Review of "Keeping Up with The Joneses (DVD)"

published 29/04/2017 | catsholiday
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Satisfactory
Pro Not offensive in any way, might appeal to young teens
Cons Dull, not that funny, nothing new
exceptional
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Characters / Performances
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"Keeping Up with the Joneses - Not sure I would want to!"

This was a film I chose to watch on the plane. I often choose light and silly films to watch on the plane as they require very little brain power and it doesn't matte f you get interrupted by the drinks then food then clearing away of the trays. It also doesn't matter if you drift asleep as you can usually quickly rewind it back and catch up whereas a deep and meaningful film needs full concentration I find.


~~~~~~ FACTS ABOUT THE FILM ~~~~~

GENRE: Action, Comedy
RATING: 12A
LENGTH: 1Hr 45 min
RELEASE DATE: 2016
DIRECTOR: Greg Mottola
WRITERS: Michael LeSieur

STARRING:
Zach Galifianakis ... Jeff Gaffney
IIsla Fisher ... Karen Gaffney
Jon Hamm ... Tim Jones
Gal Gadot ... Natalie Jones
Patton Oswalt … Scorpion
Ming Zhao ... Scorpion's Girlfriend


~~~~~~ THE STORY ~~~~~~

This is a story that has been done a number of times in films . Basically Zach Galifianakis and Isla Fisher ar Jeff and Karen Gaffney,a couple living in suburbia have new neighbours Tim and Natalie Jones (Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot), who appear to be the perfect couple, think Stepford wives for the perfect baking, make up and so on. As some critics have pointed out they look like a couple who have been beamed down from planet perfect. Obviously things are not as they seem and in fact they turn out to be spies and of course the first couple become involved in things too.

It is a comedy so things are really silly and totally unbelievable and rather slapstick too.

~~~~~~~ MY VIEWS ~~~~~~~~

As I said this story or variations of it have been done to death in films. Think of 'Mr and Mrs Smith', 'True Lies', 'The Burbs', 'Central Intelligence' to name just a few off the top of my head.
I knew nothing about the film prior to selecting it from the brief synopsis on the plane so went in blind, so to speak. I have see the actors in different films but don't really know a lo about them and certainly am not fans of any of them especially so didn't choose the film because of the people in it.

The acting was sound and the filming slick. The stunts well executed from motorcycle chases, blazing firearms, to falling trough shattered plate-glass windows. The suburban settings and weird Chinese restaurant as well as many other settings were again all very pleasant, or not in the case of the Chinese restaurant – where eating live snakes etc was the norm, and very believable. It was just nothing new or different. The story has been done to death and many of the things that happened had been borrowed and slightly changed from films like those I mentioned before. In short the entire thing was predictable, a bit like reading the Reader's Digest version of a novel you have read before.

I think the actor who manages to keep up the comedy value of his script and make it seem funnier than it actually is was Jon Hamm as Tim the secret agent. Both Joneses stood out in suburbia as being far too beautiful and perfect to be an ordinary middle class couple so were bound to cause some interest. Those giving them the undercover role should have given them lessons in being normal folk rather than supermodels with perfect baking and craft skills. Tim does glass blowing and she bakes the most amazing cakes and they are just far too perfect really for suburbia.

The comedic value very much depends on stunt work and slapstick along with more sitcom type lines although not the clever one lie type of funny. I can honestly say that I didn't laugh once and I am not sure I even smiled much either. There were many eye rolling moment and a lot more yawning ones sadly.

Even the sting type ending is guessable though the mysterious arms dealer they are attempting to ensnare is the last actor you’d ever expect to see playing a mysterious arms dealer. If you want to know more then you will have to sit through the hour and three quarters yourself.

There are some very glamorous costumes and sexy lingerie but nothing too sexy nor is there any bad language so apart from from the action which is certainly not anything children don't see thousands of times on day time TV there is nothing that would sop this being a family film. I think that the audience it would appeal to most is the young teen age, as the gags are obvious as is the plot but it is light hearted and providing you are not actually paying to see it than it harmless enough.

Had I paid good money to see it I would have felt decidedly short changed as an evening at the cinema is n longer a cheap night out with tickets around a tenner then parking and eats to be added .

~~~~~~~~WHAT THE REVIEWS SAID ~~~~~

Hollywood Reporter:
“Stale as week-old bread and every bit as bland, the movie saddles a strong cast with a groaningly ineffectual script......... Imagine Woody Allen's Manhattan Murder Mystery plus I Love You, Man, multiplied by Mr. & Mrs. Smith, divided by TV series The Americans. Minus all the wit, spark and deftness.”
Variety:
““Keeping Up With the Joneses” is a descendant of a genre that has no exact name yet dates back to “Fun with Dick and Jane” (1977), which is to say that the movie announces in every scene: “It’s comedy! It’s action! It’s far-fetched middle-class fantasy! About outrageously typical people! “

The Guardian:
“The umpteenth runout for the old suburban-squares-versus-sexy-superspies plot unfolds in predictable fashion. Isla Fisher and a newly svelte Zach Galifianakis commence curtain-twitching with the arrival of glam neighbours Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot. Covers are blown in modestly budgeted action setpieces; everyone exits feeling shortchanged in the laughter department.”

Empire :
“An unfortunate misfire that has the odd moment of charm and the odder chuckle, but otherwise isn’t worth keeping up with.”

The metacritic score is 34 from 109 professional reviewers and 4.9 from users.
Rotten tomatoes give it a score of 19% on the tomatometer and an audience score of 38% favourable and the critic's consensus is “ Keeping Up with the Joneses squanders a decent premise -- and a talented cast full of funny people -- on a witless and largely laugh-free suburban spy adventure.”

As this cost $40 million to make and it took only $29.8 million at the box office I think it was not a raging success. I often wonder why they make films like this that are nothing fresh and have been done over and over again when there are so many great stories in books that could be made into films that would be different and interesting.

~~~~~~~ RECOMMENDED ? ~~~~~~

Hell no! That is nearly two hours of time which lucky for me filled two hours of a plane journey which is deadly dull and uncomfortable. Had I been at home this would have been switched off. If I had actually been stupid enough to pay for a ticket I would have sat through it but felt very resentful at being robed of both my money and my time.

It was not awful but it was just dull and ordinary and nothing new at all. It reminded of the times I sat through films when my children were young, they enjoyed them but I was not that impressed!

Thanks for reading
©Catsholiday
29th April 2017

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Comments on this review

  • Soho_Black published 03/05/2017
    Sounds as if being interrupted by food, even airline food, might have been preferable.
  • Westy4 published 01/05/2017
    Exceptionally well written review.
  • LiveMusicLoverLyn published 30/04/2017
    Great review
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Product Information : Keeping Up with The Joneses (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

Classification: 12 years and over

DVD Region: DVD

Actor(s): Isla Fisher, Jon Hamm, Zach Galifianakis, Gal Gadot, Maribeth Monroe

Production Year: 2016

Director(s): Greg Mottola

EAN: 5039036079082

Main Language: English

Video Category: Feature Film

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