Phil (Adam DeVine) 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 (voice of Rose Byrne) – 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.
Let’s just get this right out of the way from the start – Jexi is without a doubt, the most absurdly titled film of 2019. Audiences that are completely unaware of this film and what it is about would have absolutely no idea what Jexi is and what it even means, and rightfully so.
Even though the title is ridiculously dumb, I was genuinely hoping that the movie as a whole would win me over. I wanted to go into the theatre and expierience a fun comedy flick, that, at the very least would manage to make me smile or laugh a couple times.
Unfortunately, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore’s Jexi is one of the worst films of the year so far. One thing is for sure – this is the worst comedy film of the year in addition. Virtually nothing about the film works, and while watching it, it can be quite frustrating to see where the film could have worked a little bit better if the script had been polished up. There are genuinely a few sequences that could have been humorous if there was a better script.
It is disappointing to see the script so weak, because the writers Lucas and Moore previously wrote the excellent The Hangover, which is one of my favorite comedies of the early 2000s. In my opinion, the two have not written a great movie since Hangover. All of the jokes in this film are painfully dull and often come off as extremely cringe-worthy. Even the marketing is weak, with many of the trailers and posters coming off as dull.
Adam DeVine portrays lead protagonist Phil in Jexi, and he can get quite annoying to watch after just a couple of scenes. The film lets you know early on just how irritating his character will end up being throughout. This is a shame because I genuinely think DeVine is a funny actor, and I really enjoyed him as Bumper in the Pitch Perfect franchise, and he seems like a down to earth guy.
There are a couple of times in which the movie tries to deliver a deep and thought provoking message throughout all of the jokes, but it never manages to land unfortunately. It all comes down to the script, and while trying to bring up a moral of the story, it just does not work because the movie constantly tries to be funny. There’s really no scene in which the film takes its message seriously.
Jexi is an annoying, frustratingly unfunny misfire, with one of the weakest scripts of the year, and a moral that gets lost along the way.
Overall Grade: F
MPAA Rating: R for strong/crude sexual content and language throughout, some drug use and graphic nudity
Cast: Adam DeVine, Alexandra Shipp, Michael Peña, Rose Byrne
Directed by: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
Distributed by: CBS Films, Lionsgate
Running Time: 84 minutes