Zack Galifianakis is almost out of ‘Hangover’ credit

Zack Galifianakis is almost out of ‘Hangover’ credit

This movie has already had the misfortune of serious bout of trailer fatigue. I can’t recall sitting through movie previews in the last three months and not seeing this one. And, no surprise, the two-hour version isn’t any better than the two-minute version. I leave my opinion about trailers on the cutting room floor for now, so let’s get back to the Joneses, which begs another question: Why do the couple in question always have to be named Jones?

There’s “Mr. & Mrs. Jones” with that sparkly now ex-couple Brad and Angelina. And the 2009 misfire “The Joneses” with Demi Moore and David Duchovny, and now we have to keep up with yet another set of them played by the chiseled Jon Hamm and the equally stunning Gal Gadot (the newly crowned Wonder Woman coming to a theater near you in 2017). This overly perfect couple moves in next door to Jeff and Karen (Zack Galifianakis and Isla Fisher) who become suspicious of them as only nosy neighbors can.

Turns out they might just be right. There is some spying going on involving a big arms dealer (Patton Oswalt), only these Joneses are CIA agents trying to catch him instead of the other way around, as Jeff and Karen first suspect. This is the part where hilarity is supposed to ensue as the typical suburban couple get sucked into some dangerous espionage, only it really never happens.

The real mystery lies in why Greg Mottola, the director of two great movies — “Superbad” and “Adventureland” — chose this as his next project. The script is threadbare, rehashed and really not funny. Likewise, Zach Galifianakis is just about to cash in his remaining credits from the “Hangover” movies. First, the recent “Masterminds,” and now this. His comedy brand is growing weary to me.

And poor Isla Fisher. She’s simply known as “the other red-headed actress” she’s been confused with Amy Adams for so long. She’s a capable comedienne, but nothing can bring this comedy to life. Only Hamm and Gadot escape this unscathed since their characters are pretty two-dimensional anyway.

Speaking of Amy Adams, she and Jake Gyllenhaal are the co-stars of one of the most highly anticipated movies of the holiday season. “Nocturnal Animals” has the distinction of being directed by fashion designer Tom Ford. I say that with no disdain, since Ford has proved himself a true talent behind the camera as well as the world of haute couture.

His moody piece “A Single Man” (2009), based on the Christopher Isherwood novel, starred Colin Firth as a gay man contemplating suicide one year after his lover’s death. It gained Ford critical acclaim as much for his choice of material as for his distinctive visual style. “Nocturnal Animals” (by the way, one of the few trailers I’ve seen recently that is provocative rather than too revealing) looks to be even more intriguing as Ford adapts the 1993 Austin Wright novel, “Tony and Susan” for the screen. Here’s the kicker: Adams’s doppelganger, none other than the same Isla Fisher previously mentioned, is also cast in the film. Let’s hope she keeps up better with this than she did “The Joneses.”

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