|This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (January 2017)|
|Keeping Up with the Joneses|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Greg Mottola|
|Written by||Michael LeSieur|
|Music by||Jake Monaco|
|Edited by||David Rennie|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$29.9 million|
Keeping Up with the Joneses is a 2016 American action comedy film directed by Greg Mottola and written by Michael LeSieur. Starring Zach Galifianakis, Jon Hamm, Isla Fisher and Gal Gadot, the film follows a suburban couple (Galifianakis and Fisher) who begin to suspect their new neighbors (Hamm and Gadot) are secret agents. The film was released on October 21, 2016 by 20th Century Fox, received generally negative reviews and was a box office bomb, grossing $29 million against its $40 million budget.
Jeff Gaffney (Galifianakis) works at McDowell-Burton International (MBI) as a Human Resources professional and lives with his wife, Karen (Fisher) and two children, who are away at summer camp. A new couple buys a home in their from real estate agents Dan & Meg Craverston (Walsh and Monroe). Karen alerts Jeff about the new neighbors, the Joneses, Tim and Natalie (Hamm and Gadot), and invites them over to her house to introduce themselves, surprising Jeff upon arriving home from the office.
Karen learns that Tim is an accomplished travel writer whose hobbies include blowing glass and Natalie is a social media consultant, cooking blogger and heroine to Sri Lankan orphans. Feeling unconvinced about Natalie, Karen follows her to the mall hoping to discover what she's doing, but Natalie catches Karen in the dressing room. Here, Natalie confronts her, realizing that Karen must be following her. Meanwhile, Tim invites Jeff to the Chinese restaurant to eat, but Jeff feels that getting drunk with a snake wine and being bitten by a severed snake head is not the way to make a friend and that true friendship is having an indoor skydiving experience together.
Back at their house, Jeff accidentally breaks the glass sculpture made by Tim that was given to them, revealing a bug among the shards. The couple now realize that they have been spied upon the whole time and they decide to sneak to the Joneses' house to find the spying device. Inside the room, they discover that Jeff and the MBI employees are being targeted by the Joneses. However, Jeff, mistaking an item for a pen, accidentally stuns Karen with the pen gun and they narrowly escape just as the Joneses arrive at the house. Natalie notices the pen gun on the floor and that it has been used, suspecting that Gaffneys might have broken into their house.
The Gaffneys arrange a meeting with MBI advisor Carl Pronger (Dunn) to explain the details about the Joneses. But before Carl can disclose further details, he is killed by a sniper who also attacks the Gaffneys. They are rescued by the Joneses and a chase and shootout ensues, killing the masked motorcycle riders. The Gaffneys now learn that the Joneses are protecting MBI and the Craverstons are trying to steal military secrets. Upon entering the house, the Joneses narrowly escape, as a bomb blows up the house. It is revealed that the international arms dealer calling himself "the Scorpion" (Oswalt) is trying to take down the Joneses and then kidnap the Craverstons, who were planning to sell MBI's microchips — which could be used to weaken the U.S. missile defense system. Dan reveals that he used Jeff's computer to e-mail the arms dealer. Jeff then accepts the offer through the Scorpion's phone call, arranging the meeting through his wife and takes Dan's cover name, "Rascal Flatts", to deliver the microchips.
The Joneses are backing up Jeff, but the Scorpion turns out to be a former MBI employee, whom Jeff helped at MBI years ago, and he recognizes Jeff. With their cover blown, Tim radios for back-up but they pull out due to the collateral damage that would be done to the public. Jeff also reveals the Scorpion's identity. His real name is Bruce Springstine. When the Gaffneys and the Joneses are held captive, Karen is able to pass a knife to Natalie by making out with her as a distraction, giving the Joneses an opportunity to kill Bruce's men. They all escape by jumping off the window just before Bruce opens the briefcase containing the chips, detonating a bomb that kills him.
One summer later, Jeff and Karen visit a cafe in Marrakesh, where the Joneses used to date. By mere chance, they meet the Joneses again, who reveal that they have left the agency. However, when four men wearing fezzes (who might be working for another agency) are seen looking at them, the Joneses engage in a gunfight with the four men. The outcome is not shown.
In March 2014, it was announced that Greg Mottola would direct the film, from a screenplay by Michael LeSieur, with Fox 2000 Pictures having their eyes set on Jon Hamm and Zach Galifianakis to star, Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald producing under their Parkes + MacDonald Image Nation banner, and Marc Resteghini serving as an executive producer. In October 2014, Isla Fisher joined the cast of the film, and the casting of Hamm and Galifianakis was confirmed. In February 2015, Gal Gadot was in negotiations to star in the film. In April 2015, Maribeth Monroe and Matt Walsh also joined the cast.
Keeping Up with the Joneses grossed $14.9 million in North America and $15 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $29.9 million, against a budget of $40 million.
The film was expected to gross $7–9 million from about 3,022 theaters in its opening weekend. However, it only grossed $2 million on its first day and $5.6 million in its opening weekend, finishing 7th at the box office, and making $1 million less than Galifianakis' Masterminds, which debuted to $6.6 million the month before.
Keeping Up with the Joneses received generally negative reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 19% based on 109 reviews with an average rating of 4.4/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Keeping Up with the Joneses squanders a decent premise – and a talented cast full of funny people – on a witless and largely laugh-free suburban spy adventure." On Metacritic, the film has a score 34 out of 100, based on 31 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B–" on an A+ to F scale.
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