Whether in a dark theater or on the couch at home, smartphones are an existential threat to the movie watching experience. Their mere presence promises interruptions and temptations for the easily distracted (practically all of us at this time). But “Jexi” is such a lazy and lazy movie that it may even have the most ardent movie buff trying to reach his device, ready to defend his defection to the dark side when confronted with this comedy noise.
Meanwhile, the movie's nasty hero, Phil (Adam Devine), would have no such qualms; He can't take his eyes and thumbs off the phone, walking on the street, taking a shower or simply avoiding human contact. When he breaks his smartphone, the replacement comes with the invasive virtual assistant Jexi (voiced by Rose Byrne), who soon takes over his life. She threatens both her romance with bike shop owner Cate (Alexandra Shipp) and her work writing viral lists on the Internet. Your existence begins to grow as it has it totally under your control.
Amid sporadic laughter, "Jexi" sets out his themes about the dangers of cell phone addiction early on. Even if you were buried on your screen, you would still be preaching less than subtle about the dangers of this digital addiction.
Beyond this obvious message, “Jexi” shows little thought in the script of co-directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, who offer no consistency in characterizing Phil or Jexi. They also wrote "The Hangover," and this movie shows some of the cruel traits of this movie without any of its crass charm. They also directed the pleasing "Bad Moms" and their disappointing sequel, but the work here is amateurish, as if they had never made or seen a movie before. Ben Kutchins cinematography is distracting, full of spasmodic zooms that make it look like it was shot on an iPhone – not by Steven Soderbergh.
With a protagonist who is overly attached to a female-voiced AI, "Jexi" invites easy comparisons with the much superior "Her". But the Lucas and Moore movie is buggy, making it easy to disconnect your attempts to entertain and do literally anything else.
& # 39; Jexi & # 39;
Evaluation: R, for strong / gross sexual content and language, drug use and graphic nudity
Runtime: 1 hour, 24 minutes
Playing: In the general release