It’s the summer blockbuster season and in that season it is easy to lose some of the summer comedies that are trying to compete for competition. This is could have easily happened to the newest Seth Rogan comedy “Neighbors”. Coming out only the weekend after “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” and a week before “Godzilla”, it could be hard to sneak through during the beginning of the summer like that. However this movie is destroying at the box office and got great word of mouth that it peaked my interest in a way that it hasn’t before. I went in with moderate expectations, last year producer Evan Goldberg released “This is the End” which had widespread critical acclaim and I went in, enjoying myself but didn’t love it. Now his latest picture is a reteam with Seth Rogan (as mentioned before) and I have to say it is much better than last year’s flick. “Neighbors” is fun, well written and funny film that does sometimes aim a bit high but never the less keeps us laughing throughout.
In “Neighbors” a young couple with a newly born baby finds a new challenge. They have gain a new neighbor next door to them, a fraternity house. At first they try to act cool with them but soon after a small incident both groups get launched into an epic conflict between the two where neither side is giving in.
The conflict between the two is given almost a war like mentality. We’ve seen stuff like that before, there is always a conflict between the people who are partying and the “bad” people who are ruining their fun by asking them to quiet down. This time there is a bit of role reversal, the “good” guys are the ones telling them to quiet down, and this is a bit of fresh air. After movies like “Project X” and “21 and Over’ it’s nice to see the protagonist be the reserve of the norm.
As I briefly mentioned before the conflict is given a war like mentality as both sides try to strike blows to the other in an effort to their own end. The frat feels betrayed by Seth Rogan and his wife. While Rogan’s character and wife wants to kick them out of the neighborhood. Each side tries to figure out a way to attack the other next and it’s such a fun back and forth that I would have liked to have seen more of however the movie never feels too long or short so it’s at that length where maybe what we got was good enough.
I also feel that I should point out (being a comedy and all) that this movie is really funny. I wouldn’t say ground breaking by any means but this is really a funny movie. There is a point where the laughs do subside and it misses big on some it’s jokes it aims for but more often than not the movie delivers consistent humor that will make you laugh. Some harder than others, but never comes across as lazy. But however this humor is certainly not for everyone. This is a hard R comedy, those types have been very successful since “The Hangover”. It’s very racy, features a lot of sex and drug jokes many will be turned off by this, I feel like that should be known before going into a film like this.
Now moving onto the stars of the film, they all fire on all cylinders. I think this is the best we’ve seen Seth Rogan in years. He is a bit hit and miss for me, but for this he definitely hits. He does present the classic Rogan we’ve all known but also in a semi different type of role because he is married and has a wife and kid. So his character is a bit more filled with responsibility that he doesn’t quite grasp yet but make no mistake this is the same Rogan we all know but his humor works so better on screen and I think that has a lot to do with his co-star Rose Byrne.
Rose plays his wife, and she almost steals the show from Rogan. She isn’t one of those straight laced comedy wives that tells the husband to stop screwing up. She is right in the trenches with Rogan trying to get back at the college kids and many times will make you laugh harder than any other person in the movie. What also nice about her is she is such a likeable character that you can’t help but just want to hang out with her
On the other side of things we have Zac Efron. Playing a complete departure from the roles we are used to seeing him in and he takes ownership of that. As good as Rogan is, Efron completely matches him note for note. He is simply brilliant in this film and is finally starting to shred him tween appearance, between this and a few past films. Which is great because he a multi-talented actor that should become a major star someday.
Last but certainly not least is Dave Franco. James Franco’s little brother steps it up here showing a lot of the same talent that his older brother had. He handles the smaller dramatic scenes well while he can deliver some fast, sharp and witty comedic lines. Hopefully he gets more roles in the future to showcase his talents because he could become as talented as James is.
This movie isn’t revolutionary. This isn’t going to change the way we watch comedies. However that doesn’t take but how good and funny this movie actually is. It’s been a few months since the last good comedy has come out, and this delivers on most of the goods. It sometimes aims to high but provides consistent laughs with some really good performances