Bad Neighbours

Review: Bad Neighbours

11 May 14

Bad Neighbours

Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne star as a newly married couple that have invested every penny they own into a new home. Their breezy, easy-going neighbourhood is turned into a battle of the ages (literally), after a fraternity called Delta Psi, renowned for their ridiculously outrageous parties, moves in next door. They ask their young leader Pete (Zac Efron), to simply “keep it down”, and this is what sets off nights of debauchery, drunken brawls and magic mushrooms.

This is one of the most consistently funny movies I have seen since maybe, Rogen’s and Evan Goldberg’s This Is The End. The script is filled with creative gags and hilarious one-liners, and not one character is left out. Every actor in this film will make you laugh at least once. The contrasting humour of a young couple with a baby fearing the inevitable conclusion that they are just ‘old and lame’, and the young college kids that would do anything to prevent this, is pulled off excellently, making this ridiculous, and ultimately quite dubious storyline work with sympathetic characters and a lively narrative.

Zac Efron was the star turn for me. Yes, he plays the high school hunk that we’ve grown to love/hate, but this character of Pete has a lot of depth, despite his superficial impudence. As the film progresses, and the tension between the fraternity and the ‘old couple’ next door thickens, Zac Efron plays Pete with surprising complexity; weaving between a sensitive teenager who is afraid of the future, and an arrogant douchebag who puts other people down to bring himself up.

The chemistry between Rogen and Byrne is wonderful, but we’ve come to expect authenticity from any Seth Rogen performance. The profane humour was sometimes a little too juvenile for me; like when Byrne’s breasts become veiny and engorged, so Rogen proceeds to “milk her like a cow”, thus getting sprayed in the face with a cataract of breast milk. But in the end, Neighbours is 96 minutes of constant laughs and entertainment, with empathetic characters and a heartfelt message that resonates with teenagers and adults alike.