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Keeping Up With the Joneses


Stars: Zach Galifianakis, Isla Fisher, Jon Hamm, Gal Gadot, Maribeth Monroe, Matt Walsh, Patton Oswalt

Director: Greg Mottola

After Superbad, Paul and Adventureland, one might have expected rather more from director Greg Mottola than this easy-going but not really special comedy thriller scripted by Michael LeSieur. It’s essentially sitcom-style humour and more in line with the kind of humor American television thrives on.

Ordinary suburbanites Galifianakis, who works in Human Relations in an aerospace company, and his wife Fisher (a fashion consultant working from home and briefly seen referring to a book called Urinals of Brooklyn) are enjoying a break from parental life while their sons are away at summer camp.

Enter suave, stylish new neighbours, world-famous travel writer Hamm and his sexy and stylish wife Gadot. They visit Galifianakis and Fisher, bearing a gift that turns out to be more than it appears at first glance, and the newcomers proceed to bond with the aspirant blue-blooded couple…

Before long, however Galifianakis (“I’m not a spy. I’m a soccer dad”) and Fisher’s suspicions - “Maybe there’s something odd about them” - prove correct. Hamm and Gadot are secret agents who draw the staid suburbanites into wild espionage action and danger…

The pace picks up briskly then, with Mottola serving up some lively car chases, shootouts, assorted explosions, miscellaneous action sequences and suitably unpleasant villains led by Patton Oswalt; and, to their credit, the crucial quartet give their all – and then some – to raise as many laughs and thrills as possible given the material and, happily, succeed pretty well, if not exactly memorably.

Alan Frank

USA 2016. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox. Colour by deluxe.
96 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 14 Feb 2017

DVD review