Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Neighbors - Movie Review

Neighbors is a movie that puts a family to the test against a fraternity in an all out battle to see who will rule the neighborhood. Seth Rogen and Zac Efron match wits in this comedic adventure directed by Nicholas Stoller. Rose Byrne, Dave Franco, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jerrod Carmichael, and Ike Barinholtz are also featured in the movie.

Mac and Kelly Radner (Rogen and Byrne) are enjoying a nice, peaceful life with their baby daughter Stella and have high hopes for the neighborhood they have settled down in. Then one day a fraternity moves in next door and with it brings the threat of all night parties, loud music, and general mayhem. While no strangers to this type of behavior in their younger years, the Radners now have no room for such things when matching them up against careers and children.

Teddy and Pete (Efron and Franco) are the heads of their fraternity and they are on a mission to join the ranks of their legendary predecessors which means they must throw an end of the year party that will go down in their school's history. After moving into a new house, they form an uneasy partnership with their neighbors, the Radners although things quickly take a turn for the worse after a few misunderstandings. Before you know it, an all out war is declared between the simple family life and the wild and crazy antics of young, fraternity boys looking to make their mark.

The more I see Seth Rogen the more I enjoy his special brand of comedy. Maybe it's because I can relate to his every-man approach to telling stories or maybe it's because he's simply one of the funniest guys in the business. Either way, Rogen is on quite a run and Neighbors adds another solid effort to his resume. On the flip side, I don't really have any feelings either way for Zac Efron and his performance here really doesn't do much to change that stance. Still, I found their contrasting styles and personalities to match up really nicely and I could actually see them working together again down the road.

One of the more pleasant surprises about this movie was watching Rose Byrne turn into a front line comedienne in one fell swoop. I never really pictured her before playing in a comedy like this before but she more than holds her own against the two leading men and even manages to outshine other cast members like Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Ike Barinholtz. I believe we have a true comedy star about to emerge if she chooses to go down that path.

If you've only watched the trailer, there is the obvious danger of Neighbors being one of those movies that puts all the funny moments into the two minute advertisement, but have no fear, this movie is packed so full pf hilarious moments, you won't know what to do with yourself. This is one movie that will stick with me as one of the more entertaining comedies of the year.


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