Bad Neighbours (2014)




A definite R-rated movie with laughs aplenty at the majority of jokes or set pieces that hit the bullseye. It’s down to degrees of over madness and thinly drawn characters that the weaknesses occur.

A couple named Kelly and Mac (Rose Byrne and Seth Rogen) have a little baby and a pretty idyllic home but they fear they’re becoming old and boring, that idea fades as a fraternity led by Teddy (Zac Efron), move in next door to them and a war ensues as the noise causes them to call the cops and report the frat house for their increasing loud behaviour.

From the outset it’s clear how outrageous this comedy is going to be, as we see Byrne and Rogen attempting to spice up their sex life by doing it on the kitchen table and then we see their baby ogling the action and mild funnies break out as they turn her around to try and continue. There’s comedic moments pretty much throughout though some are defintley stronger than others. A weird erection gag with Pete (Dave Franco) is exactly that…weird. The air bags prank is still funny but loses most of its surprise thanks to it being featured in the main trailer and to be honest as I try and think of another failing moment of attempted humour I can’t remember one, in fact I can’t remember much of the smaller scaled jokes as they’re highly forgettable. They get lost in the whirlwind tornado of mad sex crazed antics and strobe lighted partying of the adults trying to be hip and cool. One of the funnier moments is a De Niro scenario where mixed up film references and actors become hilarious as the college kids don’t really know who they’re spoofing and Rogen tries to correct them, still while being annoyed by their aggravated presence.

Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne bring a larger chunk of the house down in their strained trials to seem young and trendy and are good together in their partnered roles, though the weed theme is starting to become a boring, predictable attachment of Rogen’s movies. Their mission to set up Pete and Teddy’s girlfriend is inspired and paced nicely to draw laughter and tension. There’s supporting comic talent in the character of Bill (Ike Barinholtz) who is dumb and tries helping but can’t do it right. He also provides probably the most un PC comment, yet the biggest inducing of laughter just because it’s so stupid and awkward. Efron proves he can play the hunky unintelligent dude who revels in his moments of villainy. Franco is the smart sidekick/vice president who doesn’t have so much in the way of jokes but acts opposite Efron well.

The writing is quite good though it is 100% going down the bad taste route to create its laughs and sometimes that works but sometimes it feels too much and causes you to grow tired of the constant penis and sex jokes. There’s a lot going on nearer the end and it seems to be a party led amount of insane distractions to make you forget the characters aren’t that three dimensional and the story is just an excuse to have the stupidity rise and rise. The core of the movie with the moral and adult theme of how to deal with growing up and accepting maturity is nearly all but forgotten and feels like a bookended idea as the middle is stuffed with the glee of crude ideas. I mean when you have a film that involves milking a human female, a ring of lads casting their penis’ for dildos and once again a penis wrapped around a neck as a choker you know what this kind of film is, pretty much a frat style comedy about frat style antics.

I did laugh quite a lot though as it is funny, just because it’s so outlandish and sillily grim in places. The plot did take a while to get into it’s warring neighbourly action, considering we knew that’s where this story was going, but on the whole I enjoyed it when I looked past the lack of engaging characters and took the foul styled smutty comedy for what it was – which is a joyful series of pranks and set ups that do hit the comic mark.

An explicit yet comic look at the amounts of childishness in both college houses and parents, though the story of growing up does take a backseat to happily roll around in its funky, entertaining slapstick battle of the neighbours.



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