UK Release: May 9th 2014 (preview May 3rd to 8th 2014)
Evoking memories of 80’s comedy ‘BAD NEIGHBOURS’ has the young family of Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne interrupted by a head of a college fraternity of Zac Efron (arguably the selling point of the film with his far out – and very good performance) who moved next door, and after a token misunderstanding end up bringing wars between the neighbours and to the idyllic neighbourhood. Directed by Nicolas Stoller of ‘This is the End’ fame (which I hated – and still do), this comedy has bragging rights of having (in the UK) a preview ‘’weekend’’ of 6 days with it being released on a Saturday. This is no doubt to try and get the marketing of it being the ‘’UK’s Number One Comedy’’ or something. It’s also known for a title change, as here in the UK and Australia we don’t want ‘Neighbours’ to be confused with the Aussie soap of the same name.
The general film itself is fun, however you get a sense that a lot of what happens does make it feel like sketches just placed together, and the rhythm of a lot of the scenes (since most are done in a improve form) do seem to go slightly too long. The general comedy does involve characters just imitating one and other (and in one scene celebrities, Ike Barinholtz- doing his job as he is known for his impressions) and there is your usual dick, weed and sex jokes which are usual for American comedy films these days, most of these are actually in the trailer too. Personally I found a lot of the background pop culture gags to be a lot more amusing, ranging from impressions (again its mostly about them) of Batman and one about J.J Abrams, a lot of this are better than that of ‘This is the End’. The star in all of this isn’t Zac Efron – even though the marketing of him losing his clean image in this is one of the main marketing attractions, but more Rose Byrne who I think has an incredible sense of comic timing. It’s also nice to see the wife character of her, actually being on the same level of Seth Rogen’s husband, which could have easily just been brushed into the background. Ultimately, while the formula may wear stiff by the time it ends (of which is disappointing), and the fact that if it was done in the 1980’s it would be funnier. However this should occupy the target audience well, thanks to some engaging performances. Also brownie points if any of you can spot where Jonah Hill is in all of this.