Two hard-partying brothers place an online ad to find the perfect dates for their sister's Hawaiian wedding. Hoping for a wild getaway, the boys instead find themselves out-hustled by an uncontrollable duo.
Dave is a married man with three kids and a loving wife, and Mitch is a single man who is at the prime of his sexual life. One fateful night while Mitch and Dave are peeing in a fountain, lightning strikes and they switch bodies.
When their new next-door neighbors turn out to be a sorority even more debaucherous than the fraternity previously living there, Mac and Kelly team with their former enemy, Teddy, to bring the girls down.
Two struggling pals dress as police officers for a costume party and become neighborhood sensations. But when these newly-minted "heroes" get tangled in a real life web of mobsters and dirty detectives, they must put their fake badges on the line.
About at least around a dozen crew personnel worked on this action spy comedy involving neighbors and the earlier cinema movie Killers (2010), which was also an action spy comedy which involved neighbors who were covert operatives, made and released around six years earlier. See more »
The Jones' car has a New York plate, but the film takes place in Georgia. If they wanted to blend in and not blow their cover, they should have switched to a Georgia plate. See more »
[Tim eavesdrops to Jeff and Karen through an earphone. He hears them moaning]
I think they're having sex. God damn it, we don't have time for this. I mean, they're supposed to be here in 45 minutes. Nope, they are done.
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Greetings again from the darkness. Dozens of movies through the years make up the Spy Action-Comedy segment. Most of these lean heavily on either action (Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Red, Knight and Day) or comedy (Austin Powers, Get Smart, Date Night). The latest entry from director Greg Mottola and writer Michael LeSieur offers a more balanced approach while being somewhat grounded in familiar suburbia. Perfect casting certainly helps.
Comedies are the toughest genre to review because the only thing that matters does it cause you to laugh? depends on the sense of humor of each viewer and even their frame of mind while watching. So what I can report is that the full theatre at my screening was filled with enthusiastic laughter multiple times, along with a pretty steady stream of chuckles and giggling. This will undoubtedly vary from the accounts of uppity film critics who will discount the basic plot and obvious laughs (which is the whole point).
A James Bond-type opening credit sequence sets the tone as we abruptly shift to watching Jeff and Karen Gaffney (Zach Galifianakias, Isla Fisher) sending off their two sons to summer camp before returning home to their idealistic cul-de-sac suburban home. Things pick up when the new neighbors, Tim and Natalie Jones, arrive a seemingly perfect couple played by Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot. They are the type of couple who are beautiful to look at, stylishly dressed, and even show up with a blown-glass sculpture as a gift for their new neighbors.
Of course, this perfect couple is really married spies seeking information from the military weapons contractor where Jeff works as a Human Resources associate. It's Karen who senses something is off about the perfect couple, which leads to her stalking Natalie all the way to a dressing room where she is comically intimidated by Wonder Woman in black lingerie. On a side note, Ms. Fisher does have a later sequence where she proves to be anything but a homely housewife, despite how that dressing room scene is presented.
The men head off for some male bonding – at a highly unusual specialty restaurant, leading to one of the more manic sequences in the movie. The four leads are all excellent, but it's Gal Gadot who is the real surprise and her scenes with Ms. Fisher are the film's best. Both are allowed to shine, while the men are a bit more one dimensional. Galifianakias is the all-trusting good guy just happy to have some excitement in his life, while Hamm is the super cool spy (who wishes he wasn't). Both men seem to enjoy the chance to make friends, while the women are a bit more focused on tasks at hand.
Director Mottola is known for his films Adventureland and Superbad, and writer LeSieur is best known for Me, You and Dupree. The impressive thing about this latest is that the comedy mostly derives from character and situational interactions, and the expected steady stream of punchlines never materializes. There is even some insight into marriages that have become a bit too predictable, and the challenges of making new friends when all available energy is devoted to parenting and making ends meet.
In addition to the four leads, there are some funny moments for Maribeth Monroe, Matt Walsh and Kevin Dunn. The brilliant Patton Oswalt is cast as the self-nicknamed villain, and is responsible for one of the film's biggest laughs.
Of course, this is not subtle or high-brow humor, and the story line is predictable throughout. The laughs stem from the contrast of a subdued, comfy suburban life versus the sophisticated, over-accomplished jet-setting couple laughs clearly enhanced by the talented leads. So while this seems like the kind of movie I would usually ignore, perhaps it arrives at a time when laughing is simply preferable to the daily grind of an embarrassing and humiliating Presidential race. So go ahead and give laughter a chance it works even better than a stress ball.
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