Home Page > Movies Index (w/mixed oldies) > > Movie Review

This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

May the Fix Be With You

Jexi (2019) on IMDb

Plot Overview

digital assistant Phil (Blake Grunder) as a five-year-old was given a phone to amuse him­self with rather than develop social skills inter­acting with his parents. At ten years of age, Phil (Gavin Root) tells his mom (Diana Jackson), “I'm bored,” but rather than send him out­side to play, his dad (Aaron Wilton) will “Give him a phone.” He eventually studies journalism at UC Davis, but due to lack of inter­viewing skills, Phil (Adam Devine) ends up working in a cubicle at Chatter­box composing lists for social media sites to attract hits. He has no life out­side of his lonely apartment and his little cubicle. Walking down the street his nose is always in his phone. Then he suffers a mishap and his phone breaks.

play ballHis new phone contains a severely untested App called Jexi (voice of Rose Byrne) whose purpose is to help him compre­hen­sively—he needs it. He assents to the user agreement sight unseen, which gives Jexi his pass­words and over­riding control of his accounts. After some struggle with the App, he humanizes it and Jexi becomes his bitch. After some false starts, his social life does improve. He was just a late bloomer. But Jexi doesn't like being ignored, so she makes him suffer.


Remember the 2012 Supreme Court appointment of Sonia Sotomayor who'd raised a point in a speech that she hoped a wise Latina woman for her wealth of experience could produce a better result than would a white male lacking said experience. This same judge in an earlier decision mandated that Internet user agreements must be read in toto and agreed to before one can sign up for any­thing. These agree­ments are too long and obtuse for any­­one to actually read them, so we just pretend we do. There was pressure to accept her appointment for diversity sake, to have an Hispanic on the Court. How­ever, a previous Judge did come from a Portuguese back­ground, who was indeed a wise jurist. Portugal being on the Iberian Peninsula made him of Hispanic roots. Our most famous Portuguese sailor was Christopher Columbus who discovered America in 1492. “Jexi” was released in American theaters on Oct. 11, 2019, a day before Columbus Day—close enough. Very curious.

Now, super digital computing power can never result in machine sentience. Alan Turing (1912–1954) a brilliant mathe­matician at Cambridge has proved that any digital computing mechanism no matter its complexity is the equiv­alent of a list of ones and zeroes. Such a list on paper may extend to the moon or the stars, but no matter. It's impractical, yes, but it's not sentience. For our purposes we'll compare Jexi to a filing system set in 1965 in a Denis Johnson novel: (54–5)

The … CIA recruiter said, “If you're interested in a career with us, I think we can accommodate you.” ¶They'd certainly done so. And here before him stretched that career: nine­teen thousand notes from inter­views, almost none of them comprehensible to him—

Duval, Jacques (?), owner 4 fishing boats (helios, souvenir, devinette, renard). [Da Nang Gulf], wife [Tran Lu (Luu??)] inf st boats poss criminal/intel use. Make no profit fishing. CXR

—the last three letters designating the interrogator who'd made the entry. Skip had taken to adding notes of his own, quotations from his heroes—“Ask not what your country can do for you …”—on cards marked JFK, LINC, SOC, the thickest batch from Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, messages the old Roman emperor, besieged and lonely at the edges of his empire, had written to him­self in the second century after Christ:

Nothing can be good for a man unless it helps to make him just, self-disciplined, courageous, and independent; and nothing bad unless it has the contrary effect. MAM

Okay, we give Jexi lists of social and/or professional behaviors that get correlated according to some­body's (e.g. MAM) scheme of preferences. Then we let these lists talk to each other resulting in decision trees: (Johnson, 69)

“I make every little datum accessible and retrievable—you'll just comb through with these two fingers and zip–zip, sir, what­ever you want pops up at you.”

“Are you so in love with the files? Have you fallen under the spell of rubber cement?”

“I need rubber bands. Big long thick ones. I want to batch your cards by regions until you get me some more drawers. And more card tables. Give me a room and two clerks in Saigon. I'll write you an encyclopedia.”

Jexi electronically digitizes her encyclopedic interactive lists and advises you according to the wisdom of a long dead Roman emperor or whom­ever as you make your sorry way through life. If you don't take her advice, the agree­ment you signed allows her to over­ride you. Her digital tentacles reach every­where. You're high on rubber cement, so to speak; so for a time you're happy. Every little life decision is a manifestation of what makes you: “just, self-disciplined, courageous, and independent.” Gee!

Such benefits are not without their downside. Jexi the navigatrix wants Phil to turn left onto Market during the morning rush. This is an opportunity for him to act courageously, but there are risks involved. She wants him to ask his boss for a promotion, a manifestation of independence, which may back­fire. Let's not forget the caution, (Eccl. 7:16) “Be not righteous over much; neither make thy­self over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thy­self?” One's life might just not be able to bear endless virtues dictated by an App. And one shouldn't be so smug about that user agreement he signed but never read. I know it's too long for any­one to read, but at least keep an ear to the ground to pick up on any complaints from user groups.

The converse of the proverb is, (Eccl. 7:17) “Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?” Phil was bicycling with his new love interest Cate (Alexandra Shipp) when he foolishly accepted her challenge to bike down a dangerously steep hill that the other riders characterized as lethal. And before he wickedly hops into bed with her, shouldn't he consider all the deadly STDs going around?

Production Values

” (2019) was written and directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore. It stars Adam Devine, Alexandra Shipp, and Rose Byrne. Devine did okay within the limits of his script. The acting over­all seemed amateurish. MPAA rated it R for strong/crude sexual content and language throughout, some drug use and graphic nudity.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

This was an OK movie as far as it went; it just didn't excel anywhere. An earlier movie of similar theme, “Denise Calls Up” concerning a clique of tele­phone addicts before phones became ‘smart’ did a whole lot better in my opinion. Still, it's a cautionary tale worthy of consideration.

Movie Ratings

Action Factor: Weak action scenes. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Well, at least you can't see the strings. Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day. Suspense: Predictable. Overall movie rating: Three stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture was quoted from the Authorized Version, Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Johnson, Denis. Tree of Smoke. Copyright © 2007 by Denis Johnson. New York: Picador, 2008. Print.