Bad Neighbours review by George Hooper - Cinema Paradiso
Seth Rogen became an A list star thanks to a comedy about becoming a man by facing the threat of impending fatherhood, Neighbours is the follow up to that, a picture designed with the same message in mind but one bogged down in petty actions and pranks that don’t really lead anywhere. Despite this there may be something to be found in Neighbours in its various performers.
Neighbours follows Mac (Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) and their new family as they raise their newborn baby in a quiet neighbourhood. However when the house next door is bought by a fraternity their lives get a little more complicated as they begin to experience crazy occurrences leading to an all out conflict with the house and its leader Teddy (Zac Efron).
While Rogen and Byrne are set aside in loveless roles devoted to plot and barely any character development the film has a star in Efron who makes what can seem like simplistic material seem like excellent writing. His delivery is excellent and he keeps the film from losing too much of its childish tone despite the main story trying to not so subtly teach you something.
Despite the problems there are elements of Neighbours that keep the laughs flowing, from a great cast of supporting players like Dave Franco as a thoroughly unpleasant yet likable frat boy and a particularly funny cameo by Jason Mantzoukas as an ER doctor makes for more than a few laughs.
However the film never really feels right, its comedy elements get in the way of its dramatic moments, its drama is poor and ill conceived but ultimately this is a funny movie, it has some good comedic moments that are made better by good actors and the whole thing is a lot more surprising than you might think. If anything Neighbours is a sign that The Paperboy wasn’t Efron’s shining moment, he may have more to come.