Home ContentMovie Review: Keeping up with the Joneses

Movie Review: Keeping up with the Joneses

Published : October 23, 2016

Keeping Up With The Joneses


Reviewed by Juanita Pirozzi


Event Cinemas in Innaloo had a preview screening of the action-comedy, Keeping Up With The Joneses on Wednesday 19 October 2016.

Happily married couple, Jeff (played by Zach Galifianakis) and Karen Gaffney (played by Perth born, Isla Fisher) send their two sons off to summer camp. Whilst pondering how they are going to enjoy their free time, the new neighbours’ arrival onto the quiet cul-de-sac attracts Jeff and Karen’s attention. Tim (played by Jon Hamm) and Natalie Jones (played by Gal Gadot) are the neighbours who seem perfect in every way, from their physical beauty and stylish clothes to their colourful careers and well-travelled escapades. After some amateurish detective work on Karen’s part, she drags a reluctant Jeff into the Jones’s empty house, where they discover their new neighbours are spies.

It was refreshing to watch a comedy that didn’t rely on coarse language or crude humour; however these were used minimally. There are some four-letter words in the script including one F bomb. In a crucial scene, Natalie explains to Jeff and Karen that the hostage smuggled microchips “prison style.” All I can say is that I couldn’t help laughing along with everyone else in the cinema at Jeff’s physical response to this news.

Even though Keeping Up With The Joneses strayed into tired and dated humour; it could still make me laugh, if not smile. Some of these comedic effects were the ‘bromance’ between Jeff and Tim, which reminded me of Seinfeld, as well as sight gags involving Jeff and Karen in a scene where he accidentally tranquilised her. In a shoot-out scene, Karen and Natalie use some girl-on-girl action as a diversion for the male gangsters. The quip Jeff makes regarding crooked teeth and Great Britain brought on a good amount of laughter, even applause from some of the viewers.

One aspect of the movie I found disappointing was the lack of development in Karen’s character with regards to her career. Early in the movie Karen tells Jeff how dissatisfied she is with her interior design career (her latest project involves designing urinals) and she wonders about future possibilities. Given her interest in espionage, this could suggest a new career path for Karen but I was left with unanswered questions about this part of the plot.                    

As a viewer, I found that Keeping Up With The Joneses achieved its goal of making movie goers laugh whilst captivating them with its action scenes.     

The session times for Keeping Up With The Joneses are available on the Event Cinemas website.  

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