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Movie Review: Keeping Up with the Joneses

Updated on October 28, 2016
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Rating: C-

*No Spoilers*

The Pros

  • Zach Galifianakis - I just want to say that Zach Galifianakis lost a ton of weight which is noticeable in this movie and I think that's great. As far as what he brought to this movie? This was not as funny as it could have or should have. To put it as simply, it was a chucklefest. There were no hard laughs in Keeping Up with the Joneses, but I chuckled a lot throughout the movie. So slight laughter, and almost all of this came from Zach Galifianakis' one line jokes. I think Galifianakis is an extremely talented actor and comedian and he will have some fantastic roles in the future. That being said, there's only so much he could do for this movie and I think he is the main reason I gave this movie a C rating instead of giving it a D rating.
  • Cast Chemistry - One thing I liked about the movie that I did NOT expect to like about this movie was the chemistry between the 4 main characters in Zach Galifianakis, Isla Fischer, Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot. I thought Galifianakis had great chemistry with Isla Fischer which I thought would feel like a forced relationship. I also thought Jon Hamm and Galifianakis had great chemistry. The scenes that Gal Gadot and Isla Fischer had together, I thought worked and was believable. However I would have liked to see more from the relationship between Gadot and Hamm as I thought this was the weakest of the relationships and I think it should have been developed further.
  • Wilhelm Scream - I don't know how many people reading this will know what the Wilhelm scream is, but it is a sound effect (of a man screaming in pain) that has been used in the movie industry for decades. I think it's been used since the 1950s in hundreds of movies including Star Wars. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, go to YouTube and search "Wilhelm Scream" I'm sure there are all sorts of compilation videos of it and I guarantee you've seen many movies it's been in. It's such and amusing sound effect once you've heard it and recognize it. While this is a very minor pro for the movie, I enjoyed it so it was worth mentioning.

The Cons

  • Action - The action in this movie was nothing special and nothing you've not seen before. I liked that Galifianakis and his humor was integrated into these action sequences as this was more intended to be a comedy than an action anyway. While action was not the main focus of this movie, it should have gotten more focus and should have been a strong compliment to the comedy. Instead the action felt stale and left me not caring about the action that was taking place on screen.
  • Plot - The plot in this movie was also nothing special and I, again, realize that this was a comedy so I shouldn't expect much from the plot. I think this year was a huge year for the horror genre in that great writing was put into a handful of horror movies this year. I think comedy is a genre that is in need of a similar revitalization. The plot of Keepino Up with the Joneses was extremely predictable and unoriginal and it really didn't need to be either.
  • Gal Gadot's Character - It is important for me to distinguish Gal Gadot's character from her acting. I thought Gadot's acting was fine in this movie. Not great, but fine and I think Gadot's acting is getting better and better with each movie so I'm starting to look forward to Wonder Woman more and more. Gal Gadot's character, however, was odd throughout the movie. In certain scenes she was cold and unconcerned about the Gaffney's (Galifianakis and Fischer) then all of a sudden and seemingly without reason, she's very caring and is willing to risk her life saving them. There are switches like this throughout the entire film and i though it was very weird.


Official Trailer

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Recommendation

Keeping Up with the Joneses is lacking in fresh action and a decent plot, but Zach Galifianakis' one-line humor as well as a cast with decent chemistry makes this movie average at best. The movie would not have worked for me if it were not for Zach Galifianakis so if you do not like his humor, stay away from this movie (as I'm sure you were planning to). If you find Galifianakis funny, then this movie will be a chucklefest for you. Its nothing outstanding though, so I don't recommend rushing out to catch this in theaters.

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