Keeping Up with the Joneses Blu-ray Review: An Action Comedy That Needed a Bit More of Both

Jeff Gaffney (Zach Galifianakis) works for MBI, a giant corporation, in their HR department. He lives in a cul-de-sac with his wife Karen (Isla Fisher) and two kids. He has the perfect life, but it’s a simple, dull existence where he doesn’t even have enough security clearance to know what his company even does. But that all changes when a couple of his neighbors move to Hawaii and two incredibly attractive and exciting people, Tim (Jon Hamm) and Natalie Jones (Gal Gadot), move in across the way.

Having some new blood in the neighborhood immediately attracts Karen’s attention as she begins stalking Natalie thinking that she is just too good to be true. Jeff is less suspicious of the pair and immediately clings to Tim as the two develop a bromance. Unbeknownst to the clueless Jeff, the only reason the two are hanging out is because he’s being pumped for information about the employees at his company.

While the men and women are bonding with one another, it’s not until the glass sculpture the Joneses gave them breaks and a listening device is discovered inside that their identities are exposed. When they go to a family friend to confirm what they’ve found, they become the targets of an assassination attempt and manage to survive only by the last-minute rescue attempt by the Joneses. Once their cover is blown, they must come clean with the Gaffneys about what they are doing and end up including them in their plan to take down the traitor inside the company who is stealing microchips that could take down the United States’ missile defense system and selling to them to The Scorpion (Patton Oswalt).

On paper, this should be an awesome movie. You have two extremely attractive spies for the action and the zany Galifianakis whose quirkiness and personality alone make any film funny. Unfortunately, they underutilize the funny man. He plays the character so straight that he’s actually kind of boring. I even had to check the box to make sure it was him because he was so cleaned up that he didn’t even look like himself.

It wasn’t until halfway through the film when the big car chases scene occurred that things finally started to pick up. While the action did help bring the film up, it didn’t really make sense. It wasn’t clear how having one of their friends check into the bug they found could have brought out a bunch of assassins trying to kill them.

The Blu-ray is presented in widescreen format with a 2.40:1 ratio and a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 soundtrack. The video was very crisp and clean with fluid bright colors and deep darks. The surround sound was not that noticeable and didn’t really add to the production.

The Blu-ray’s special features are:

  • “Spy Game” is a behind-the-scenes documentary with the cast and director on their experiences during the filming process and what they thought of the process.
  • “Keeping Up With Georgia” is a look at the different locations and challenges of filming around Atlanta.
  • “Deleted Scenes” is a number of scenes that were cut from the film. They were overly long and wouldn’t have provided anything new had they been left in.
  • A “Gallery” of still photos followed by the film’s Theatrical Trailer.

Overall, Keeping Up with the Joneses had a good premise and good actors that should have made for a quality film, but poor execution and utilization of the cast really left it flat. It wasn’t bad and it wasn’t good. It just was. There were few memorable parts and only a couple minor chuckles.

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Todd Karella

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