johnlink ranks NEIGHBORS (2014)

I saw a whole bunch of scenes from this back in my previous job at the movie theater. It looked funny enough that I thought I would give it a shot at some point. Happened upon it the other night and gave it a go.

neighbors3

I watched NEIGHBORS (2014) on 4.22.15. It was my first viewing of the film.

Sometimes, there just isn’t all that much to say about a movie. That sentiment, on its own, doesn’t necessarily point to mediocrity. A movie can be pretty bad and uninspiring. A movie can make you laugh, do its job, and not make the viewer want to shout to the rooftops.

NEIGHBORS falls into that latter category. It entertains, though it is not a movie with classic moments. It sparks laughter, even if it is hard to remember any particular joke the next day.

The premise is sound. Mac and Kelly (Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne) move into their first home in a great neighborhood as they settle down with their new baby and their powerful routine life. He works in a cubicle and finds excitement in sneaking away to smoke pot, She is a stay-at-home mom who desperately needs to find an outlet. Their sex life is nonexistent as they find victories in near-romantic encounters.

In next door moves a frat led by Teddy (Zac Efron). They party loud and obnoxiously. Even if Mac and Kelly want to be the cool neighbors who are down the the drugs and partying, they can’t help but get angered when the noise keeps the baby awake. In the name of comedy the movie stretches all possible string of believability. The partying is outrageous and would never be allowed. But that doesn’t really matter. It is all just a device to pit frat vs family or, particularly, Efron versus Rogen.

Efron is working hard to shed any sort of good boy image. He makes absurd jokes and can be truly vindictive. Rogen is mostly playing to type, even if the script has him sometimes going over the line in his own set of maliciousness. It’s all sanitary enough; it provides the illusion of danger and viciousness without any of the repercussions of that sort of behavior.

The biggest mistake of the film is a trailer which blew (literally, sort of) the best gag of the 90 minutes. It involves air bags. If you have seen the trailer, the surprise is gone and doesn’t work at all. If you haven’t seen the trailer, the gag is nothing short of hilarious. Trailers have long been the enemy of a good comedy (some directors even exploit this and stuff a bunch of jokes which don’t make it to the final cut) and NEIGHBORS doesn’t have enough beginning-to-end hilarity to have its best jokes ruined.

But, really, this is a fine comedy. It isn’t inspiring and it isn’t insipid. If you like Rogen or you like this brand of comedy it’ll do yo just fine.

SCORES

FILM: 4; MOVIE: 8; ACTING: 5; WRITING: 6

4+8+5+6+0=23

FINAL SCORE: 5.75 out of 10

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~ by johnlink00 on April 24, 2015.

One Response to “johnlink ranks NEIGHBORS (2014)”

  1. Hilarious, but also had something of a heartfelt message at the center of it that I felt worked real well. Nice review John.

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