Directors: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
Cast: Adam Devine, Alexandra Shipp, Ron Funches
Release Date: January 14, 2020
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 6/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
To Phil (Adam Devine), a hot Saturday night is binge-watching reality shows and ordering takeout. Phil needs to get a life. What Phil gets is a new phone with an unexpected feature: Jexi (Rose Byrne), a badass A.I. life coach determined to make a man out of him. With Jexi’s help, Phil attracts his dream job, fun friends, and a beautiful girl. But when Phil grows less dependent on Jexi, she morphs into a tech nightmare determined to keep Phil all to herself in this star-studded comedy from the writers of The Hangover and Bad Moms.
‘Jexi’ accompanies the awkward and tech-reliant Phil (Devine) who works as an online top ten list creator and spends all of his free time glued to the screen of his phone; perfectly content with his existence. But after an accident results in his phone being destroyed, he immediately rushes out to replace it, receiving a new phone with a fancy new AI interface dubbed Jexi. Yet Jexi is nothing like your average operating system and soon begins to wreak havoc in Phil’s life, pushing his buttons in return and causing him to step of out his comfort zone whether he wants to or not, claiming her sole purpose is to improve his life. Soon Phil finds himself pushed into making friends and even dating, and surprisingly even enjoying some of it, but will Jexi finally leave him to enjoy his life as it improves or end up ruining all of that as well?
Written and directed by filmmaking duo Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (the ‘Bad Moms’ films), the pair does a nice job at the helm of ‘Jexi’ delivering a fast moving and frequently funny little romantic-comedy with a vulgar edge that always moves along smoothly. The film also owes a great deal of credit to the hilarious and well selected individuals that comprise the cast which includes Adam Devine (Pitch Perfect), Alexandra Shipp (X-Men: Dark Phoenix), Ron Funches (TV’s Man With A Plan), Charlyne Yi (The Disaster Artist), Michael Peña (Ant-Man), Wanda Sykes (A Bad Moms Christmas), Justin Hartley (TV’s This Is Us) and Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids) as the voice of Jexi, plus more, the majority each contributing capable and amusing performances altogether in each of their respective roles, although Devine’s kind, relatable and funny performance in the lead is one of the film’s biggest strengths, really allowing it to work as smoothly as it does.
‘Jexi’ is an amusing, raunchy and over the top comedy that’s surprisingly sweet natured at times. Taking familiar aspects of everyday conveniences and technological advancements and then dialing things up to the max, having fun with the seemingly limitless possibilities of technology in our world and exploring just how terribly wrong it could go if left unchecked. Always pushing things to a level of goofiness that generally erases any serious implications within, it instead showcases one lonely man’s ridiculous adventure in such a situation, and the hilarious results that ensue. Albeit fairly predictable and loaded with plenty of clichéd elements from similar raunchy comedies (and even borrowing a few from the rom-com genre) it still has something rewarding at its core and the honest and relatable performance by Adam Devine in the lead helps it to really click and work better than expected. It may not manage to surprise or shock you with any clever plot twists or unique directions taken, but it also shouldn’t have any trouble keeping you laughing quite regularly while occasionally even warming your heart along the way. It’s a wildly enjoyable and delightfully silly little film that manages to consistently embrace its excessive approach in order to become a pretty decent comedy that’s worth taking a chance on. When you’re looking for something fun and funny to relax with that doesn’t require much brainpower to keep up with, ‘Jexi’ should make a great candidate.
Overall, ‘Jexi’ is a fun, lighthearted and quite funny adult comedy with an occasionally touching love story at its core. While it certainly isn’t perfect and has its share of hiccups as well as a lack of originality, I would still definitely recommend ‘Jexi’ to those who enjoy a fun and quick witted raunchy comedy with some heart, and fans of the ever-lovable Adam Devine probably won’t want to miss it either. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable and frequently hilarious little ride with plenty of heart and even a creepy bit of believability lingering throughout. If nothing else it’ll probably be worthy of a cheap rental and ninety minutes of your time one casual evening when you’re seeking an easygoing and just plain enjoyable film to laugh at and have some fun with.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Jexi’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty great as a whole and delivers a smooth, sharp and nicely detailed presentation from start to finish with no real faults or issues to be uncovered along the way. It holds up nicely even during the slightly darker and more heavily populated moments, never allowing anything onscreen to become problematic or noticeably affected. Overall, this is a more than capable high definition video presentation that looks good throughout and should easily please fans of the film and casual viewers alike.
The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack offers a smooth, clean and occasionally somewhat aggressive audio presentation throughout. It frequently takes advantage of all five available channels in order to contribute small sound effects, music and crowd chatter, while sending far more heavy content throughout the various speakers in the occasional scene, and never causing any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is a solid 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that may not be the audio presentation of the year, but it certainly delivers in every way necessary and shouldn’t disappoint.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Jexi’ includes some enjoyable Behind the Scenes Featurettes that explore bringing the film to life and featuring interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are: ‘Jexi: Making Life Better’ (running approximately 21 minutes in length), ‘Unboxing Jexi’ (running approximately 9 minutes), ‘Filming in Fog City’ (approximately 6 minutes), ‘Tech Bros’ (5 minutes) and ‘Phone Fixation’ (7 minutes).
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 6/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
‘Jexi’ Arrives Home on Blu-ray & DVD on January 14, 2020 & is Now Available to Own on Digital from Entertainment One, CBS Films & Lionsgate Home Entertainment