review by Bobby Blakey
I love when films take on things in the real world, most notably technology, especially in interesting ways. The latest, Jexi starring Rose Byrne, Adam Devine, Michael Peña, Justin Hartley, Alexandra Shipp, Wanda Sykes, and Charlyne Yi from Bad Moms directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore looks to take on the popular “Alexa” theme to do just that. Could this film bring something fresh to the genre with the latest technology or will it struggle to buffer the love and laughs?
Jexi follows Phil who has a major dependency issue - he’s addicted to his phone. He has no friends, he has a job writing pop culture “Top 10” lists, and his love life is non-existent. But his Facebook status is about to change. When he is forced to upgrade his phone, the latest model comes with an unexpected feature...Jexi – an A.I. life coach, virtual assistant and cheerleader. With her help, Phil begins to get a real life. But as he becomes less dependent on his phone, Jexi’s artificial intelligence morphs into a tech nightmare determined to keep Phil all to herself, even if it means ruining his chances of finding success.
I have to say the movie I thought I was going to get and the one I got was different, but in a good way. While I was hoping for an over the top comedy and that is surely here, I didn’t expect it to take on the straight up tropes of a romantic comedy as well. The story is pretty simple and one we have seen a thousand times, but this time with the technology we all use every day stepping in to cause troubles. Its this aspect that makes it feel like something fresh and new while still walking in familiar footsteps. Adam Devine does a great job carrying the movie and is perfect for this role. His everyman persona coupled with the awkwardness makes you buy into the story here with ease.
Rose Byrne while never actually on screen shines as the voice of Jexi. Her aggressive persona is where most of the laughs come and works great. You buy
into her sound as one just like Alexa or Siri that you have on your real devices, but with that added twist of attitude and jaded girlfriend. The R rating does add that special something needed to make this film be more than just another throwaway comedy, but the story structure is so by the numbers that it never fully steps out of the shadows on its own to be completely original.
I thought I was going to get an over the top ridiculous comedy but instead I got a funny romantic comedy with a great social message that affects us all. It is one of the more relevant of the genre in some time and one that entertains and worth checking out. In addition to the film this release offers up numerous featurettes that take you behind bringing this film to life. Prepare to let technology take over with Jexi available now on digital, Blu-ray and DVD from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.