Audience members hoping to enjoy a lighthearted spy comedy this weekend might need to keep looking: the Keeping Up with the Joneses reviews are starting to come in, and they are scathing. Keeping Up with the Joneses stars Isla Fisher and Zach Galifianakis as the Gaffneys, a married couple who find out their next-door neighbors, the Joneses (played by Jon Hamm and Wonder Woman herself, Gal Godot), are actually undercover spies. According to the trailers, hilarity and hijinks ensue as the Fisher and Galifianakis’ characters are drawn into the life of espionage.
Unfortunately, according to the recent Keeping Up with the Jones reviews, hilarity and hijinks are not what the critics experienced. The movie currently has a score of 15 percent on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes. Critics were quick to dismiss the movie’s jokes (or lack thereof) and insipid plot.
Unsurprisingly, critics loved Jon Hamm in Keeping Up with the Joneses, but many felt that he was wasted in the role. Writing for Variety, Owen Gleiberman remarked that Keeping Up with the Joneses made him “wish Jon Hamm would land a movie worthy of him.”
“Earth to movie executives: This is not what Jon Hamm should be doing! He’s the rare actor who combines intelligence and danger. He deserves better than playing the good sport about his post-‘Mad Men’ career options by clowning around in piffle like this.”
Unfortunately, according to the Keeping Up with the Joneses reviews, it looks like the movie combines neither intelligence nor danger. Audiences looking for smart, sexy spy comedies this weekend should instead seek out the following films, all of which have Rotten Tomatoes scores much higher than fifteen percent.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie made tabloid headlines when they co-starred in the steamy 2005 action-comedy Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Like Keeping Up with the Joneses, this movie features a married, undercover spy couple trying to blend in with quiet suburbia. The cast even feels like the Keeping Up with the Joneses cast: Angelina Jolie certainly could have played Wonder Woman, and Brad Pitt was a suave heartbreaker long before Don Draper came along.
Anyone looking for a fish-out-of-water spy comedy like Keeping Up with the Joneses would do well to seek out another 2016 release, Central Intelligence. Released this summer, the film stars Kevin Hart as a mild-mannered accountant and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as an old friend who turns out to be a secret agent.
While Central Intelligence does not revolve around a romantic subplot, it does feature plenty of chemistry between its two main leads. Many Keeping Up with the Joneses reviews mention how bland and square Fisher and Galifianakis’ characters are, but Hart manages to play a nebbish bore who still crackles with manic energy.
Melissa McCarthy and Zach Galifianakis are both known for playing quirky weirdos (she in Bridesmaids, he in pretty much everything he’s done), and anyone looking for a Keeping Up with the Joneses-esque clumsy chase sequence should check out 2015’s Spy. Jude Law subverts the classic handsome, devilish gentleman spy role, and Rose Byrne is hysterical as a bratty, foul-mouthed villainess.
Kingsman: The Secret Service
At first glance, Keeping Up with the Joneses and Kingsman: The Secret Service might not seem too similar. However, both films feature many of the same classic spy movie tropes: high-tech gadgets, car chases, and gunfights. Both movies also parody the genre by pointing out its commonly-used cliches and plot devices. But while the Keeping Up with the Joneses reviews criticized the movie’s pulled punches and bland mediocrity, Kingsman feels like a fresh, exciting take on a decades-old genre.
While the Keeping Up with the Joneses reviews are certainly a disappointment, there are plenty of spy comedies to keep you laughing this weekend.
[Featured Image by 20th Century Fox]