Holding up undercover identities was easy for the Joneses in 30 foreign countries. But less than a week in the suburbs in the USA, and they’re blown in a big way—bringing to mind what would happen if the sexy lovers from Mr. and Mrs. Smith moved in next door to the Cleavers.
The laughs come easily, if predictably, as Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover) extends what’s turning into a semi-good year on the heels of Masterminds as he slips into his typecast role as Jeff Gaffney, the goofy husband with the boring and insignificant job in HR. Isla Fisher (Now You See Me) is his suburban housewife, Karen, an interior designer who immediately knows something isn’t right with the new arrivals on their cul-de-sac. They’re just adorable, with great timing and chemistry as a unit.
Also good fits for the roles of Natalie and Tim Jones are Gal Gadot and Jon Hamm. (Outstanding ringers for Brangelina. May that terrible portmanteau rest in peace.) Gadot, of the Fast and Furious franchise and part of the upcoming Justice League endeavors, wears every miniscule dress well and conducts a humorous and sexually charged bit with Fisher, which you no doubt saw in the trailer. Meanwhile, Hamm (Mad Men) has better lines, including a killer scene in a backroom “snake restaurant” that’s among the best surprises in this movie’s bag of tricks. The whole thing is just a smidge too long, with one too many foreseeable reunions. Some of the dialog is snappy and hilarious while other exchanges feel pointless. The detective scenes smell at times like Austin Powers throwbacks, and the action sequences are well executed enough for the genre, if not out of place amid the schtick that gives the plot a rom-com vibe. Thank the entertainment gods that no one took this film too seriously.
Keeping up with the Joneses
Violet Crown, Regal,