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<< Entertainment >>

New Movie Review

"Neighbors"

Comedy. Rated R. 1 hour, 36 minutes.

Photo by Glen Wilson - © 2013 - Universal Pictures

Still of Rose Byrne and Seth Rogen in "Neighbors" (2014)

 

 

by Pete Bublitz
petblitz@yahoo.com

 

|

I'll mention it immediately. Seth Rogen had moments of legitimate hilarity. Moving on. Rose Byrne delivers a steadfast volley of Rogen’s barbs that adds to the heartfelt devotion between their portrayed couple, though it does end up forced on several occasions. Ike Barinholtz deserved an approach that was more straight man and less slob backup, not matter how awesome it was to realize he’s returned to prominence (no, I don’t watch that show. Why?). That way, the Rogen/Barinholtz pairing would have offset the idiot leader/brilliant-by-comparison wingman exchange between Zac Efron and Dave Franco’s frat brothers.

Efron is the soul of the movie’s transitional message, his Teddy Sanders a kid desperate for gratuitous highlight as a means of advancing in life while (not fully) learning that it may take much more. Franco is the underlying comedic breakthrough by setting up different styles of humorous situations, be it indirect parody of De Niro, sexual absurdity (with a talent that’s open-ended about being either a talent or curse), and impromptu wordplay. The rest of the fraternity household is given room to establish their own presence, especially Craig Roberts’ snitch and Jerrod Carmichael’s not so token black.

The more natural lighting presents the film on a closer-to-life plateau, several screen effects created an interesting approach to their respective dialogue moments, the tension buildup is impressive in how it caught me off guard while anticipating the worst, the gags were out of nowhere on several occasions, and it leaves me endeared to these characters as something closer to human: by being both outgoing and disturbing in their interaction with their adversaries.

Still, character resolution was lacking terribly with the married couple and their best friends receiving the only clear outcome. The fraternity girlfriends deserved more character exploration, the rest of the fraternity members' situations aren’t resolved, and the one interior furnishing plot device that drives Teddy seems to be left open-ended even when the credits are over.

The character interaction is balanced between each party of characters given how the movie proceeds, yet there could have been added time for so much more.

OVERALL RATING: 3 / 5

 


Watch the Official Movie Trailer

 

 

Photo © 2013 - Universal Pictures

Still of Zac Efron in "Neighbors" (2014)

 

Movie poster credit: Universal Pictures

"Neighbors" movie poster

 

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