Entertainment

‘Keeping Up with the Joneses’ has fun with spies and suburbia

Tim Jones (Jon Hamm), left, Jeff Gaffney (Zach Galifianakis) and his wife Karen (Isla Fisher), and Natalie Jones (Gal Gadot) are neighbors in "Keeping Up With the Joneses."
Tim Jones (Jon Hamm), left, Jeff Gaffney (Zach Galifianakis) and his wife Karen (Isla Fisher), and Natalie Jones (Gal Gadot) are neighbors in "Keeping Up With the Joneses." Twentieth Century Fox

Charming performances lift "Keeping Up with the Joneses," turning this spies-next-door action comedy into an enjoyable romp.

Sure, it might be a stretch believing that Jon Hamm ("Mad Men") and Gal Gadot ("Batman vs. Superman") would move in to the cul-de-sac, but denizens of suburbia can dream, can't they?

The handsome couple play international spies undercover to find out who is a mole sending secrets to an arms dealer.

Their neighbors Jeff (Zach Galifianakis) and Karen Gaffney (Isla Fisher) are dazzled by the Jones' worldliness and exotic lifestyle.

Tim (Hamm) is a travel writer while Natalie (Gadot) is a food blogger, recounting their adventures to the stuck-in-a-rut parents, whose kids are away at summer camp.

Man-crushes, lingerie shopping, goofy gatherings and a wacky, exciting car chase are part of the fun.

Director Greg Mottola ("Superbad") effectively mines laughs out of both ordinary and extraordinary situations.

Performances: In many of his starring vehicles, Galifianakis goes over the top in odd-duck or man-child roles — for instance, "The Hangover" sequels. But here, he is a more normal guy, and is actually relatable being a Joe Schmoe.

So, his bromance with Hamm delivers both good humor and genuine sweetness as they bond as buddies.

Native St. Louisan Hamm has proven his comedic chops on TV — namely "30 Rock" and "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," and sure is dandy as a suave secret agent.

Former Miss Israel Gadot shows that she can be more than Wonder Woman, and sizzles as the sexy, statuesque wife.

Fisher ("The Wedding Crashers") holds her own and has fun as a bored wife ready for role-playing adventures. She has a nice chemistry with Galifianakis, too.

What Works: The light-hearted script by Michael LeSieur ("You and Me and Dupree") doesn't resort to juvenile humor. It's laugh-out-loud moments are earned.

What Doesn't Work: Suburban lifestyles might be an easy target, and the plot might be predictable, but the antics are amusing.

Fans of the foursome won't be disappointed by the subdivision shenanigans, which winds up a far tastier trifle than one expected.

"Keeping Up with the Joneses,"

Director: Greg Mottola

Stars: Jon Hamm, Zach Galifianakis, Gal Gadot, Isla Fisher

Rated: PG-13 for sexual content, action/violence and brief strong language.

Length: 1:41

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