May 9, 2014 NSR Admin

Film Review: Bad Neighbours (15)

In 2008, viagra the world was not such a different place. A glance at the CVs of Seth Rogen and Zac Efron, erectile however, tells a different tale. Rogen was busy playing the loser man-child in Pineapple Express, while Efron was squeaky clean in High School Musical 3. Now, in Bad Neighbours, the roles are reversed, with Rogen’s aspirational family man pitted against Efron’s immature frat boy. The latest in the recent trend of improvisatory, crude American comedies, this is likely to divide audiences, as those looking for wit and sophistication will be left unfulfilled.

Rogen plays Mac Radner, who is adjusting to parenthood along with his wife, Kelly (Rose Byrne). They have recently poured their savings into a house in a nice neighbourhood and are invested in making proper adulthood work. Enter Efron’s Teddy, the president of Delta Psi Beta, a fraternity that has moved in next door after burning down their previous residence. Both parties make efforts to consider the neighbours, but opposing life-styles result in an all-out war that builds to ludicrous proportions.

The comedy in Bad Neighbours is crass to say the least. Relying mainly on body-humour and escalation, there is little subtlety to the film, but there are a number of laughs to be had from relaxing into the stupidity. The filmmakers are clearly aware of their target demographic and play strongly to the teen market, but do so inventively. It is also refreshing, within this male-dominated genre, to have a female character who is not sidelined, as Byrne remains just as central to proceedings as Rogen. The improvising that makes up many of the scenes is both a strength and weakness; allowing the actors to relax into funny and spontaneous moments can also stretch on too long, leaving baggy scenes that need a more rigorous edit.

Plot-wise there is little to talk about, with the decent set-up degrading into scenes that work individually but do not quite hang together. This sketchy approach leaves the resolution, like many similar comedies, somewhat sudden and unfulfilling, as narrative catharsis is disregarded. Had there been a more detailed script, certain interesting story elements may have been better fleshed out, with the personal issues of both Teddy and Mac barely hinted at, despite that being the driving force behind their enmity.

Regardless of these narrative flaws, Bad Neighbours is an entertaining romp with a varied panoply of supporting characters to keep things interesting. There is little new in this film, but experience has crafted a gross-out comedy that does what it does, and does it well.

Peter Wood