Rated R. 1 hour, 36 minutes.
by Glen Wilson - © 2013 - Universal Pictures
of Rose Byrne and Seth Rogen in "Neighbors" (2014)
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.
3 / 5
the Official Movie Trailer
© 2013 - Universal Pictures
of Zac Efron in "Neighbors" (2014)
poster credit: Universal Pictures