A movie where Seth Rogen is facing off against a fraternity led by Zac Efron and Dave Franco? Sign me up! Even though the trailers never made me laugh, the hijinks that will go down should be entertaining enough. And that’s pretty much what we get. There aren’t too many laughs, but the movie was entertaining enough to keep it from “bad” status.
Yes, that’s correct, the movie isn’t that funny. A few solid laughs and chuckles here and there aren’t worth a $10 ticket price. It’s not that the jokes were uncreative or “done before”, it was just strange humor.
A perfect example is the air-bag scene from the trailer. Yeah it’s funny seeing Seth Rogen flying into the ceiling, but I couldn’t help but think that that’s pretty dangerous. These are irresponsible college kids sure, but couldn’t they get back in a more subtle way then potentially hospitalizing Seth Rogen’s character?
It’s not the best example, but I don’t want to spoil any jokes that you might find funny. The point is that some of the humor could’ve easily done more harm than good. That’s not to say I didn’t laugh or chuckle at some of the jokes (one in particular was absolutely hysterical), but after the laugh I just couldn’t help but feel weird that that could’ve gone terribly wrong. It honestly came off a little disturbing at times.
The movie is entertaining though. The ways they all get back at one another is very creative and the movie always kept my attention. That is in part due to the solid performances here.
Seth Rogen is one of the best comedic actors working today and he and his wife played by Rose Byrne are great together. The chemistry is 100% there and they both convey their dialogue flawlessly. Another great pair is Zac Efron and Dave Franco. Dave Franco proved he could handle comedy in 21 Jump Street but Zac Efron hasn’t gotten much of a chance to do that yet. Here, they both do a terrific job, with both actors having a true career in comedy ahead of them.
The rest of the supporting cast was perfectly fine, although there were no standouts. The rest of the fraternity, Ike Barinholtz and Carla Galto’s pairing, and Hannibal Buress’s police officer were alright in the roles, but nobody made much of an impact which is in part the screenplay’s fault for never giving these characters any funny material.
Another problem the screenplay has was blatantly telling you the character’s motivations. Both parties have a deeper purpose for their game of revenge besides “keep it down, we have a baby” and “we’re college kids who like to party”. That’s fantastic, except the movie tells you straight up why, even though the average bear can figure it out beforehand. It’s the movie trying to have a heart, it succeeds but it could’ve been done more subtlety.
The movie also had those unneeded moments where they wanted the characters to be at their lowest lows only for them to come back stronger. It’s been done to death and it felt really forced this time around, especially with the movie resolving these issues in a few minutes tops. You might be thinking “it’s a comedy, who cares?”. Well, if you’re going to give me the goods then you need to deliver.
Neighbors succeeded at entertaining me with its talented cast and occasionally funny moments. The problem is the movie fails with its ulterior motive to give the movie a heart, and for keeping the laughs more consistently and “safe”. It makes for a rental at best.