REVIEW: Neighbors (2014)

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2014, Universal Pictures/Point Grey Pictures/Good Universe

Director:
Nicholas Stoller
Producers:
Seth Rogen
Evan Goldberg
James Weaver
Writers:
Andrew J. Cohen
Brendan O’Brien
Cinematography:
Brandon Trost
Editing:
Zene Baker

Cast:
Seth Rogen (Mac Radner)
Zac Efron (Teddy Sanders)
Rose Byrne (Kelly Radner)
Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Scoonie)
Dave Franco (Pete Regazolli)
Jerrod Carmichael (Garf)
Ike Barinholtz (Jimmy Blevins)
Carla Gallo (Paula Faldt)
Lisa Kudrow (Dean Carol Gladstone)

A war for supremacy is waging between a couple and a fraternity in this hilarious comedy.

Mac and Kelly Radner are parents to a one-year old who are about to be in for the shock of a lifetime. They learn that a fraternity, Delta Psi Beta, have moved in next door to them. At first, things seem well between the two houses after a plea to keep noise down leads to the Radners hanging out at the frat house during one of their parties. Frat president Teddy tells the Radners to let him know if the music ever gets loud and not to call the police. However, when they call Teddy ten times one night about the noise, Kelly convinces Mac to call the police and things begin to unravel.

Feeling “betrayed” by the Radners, Teddy and Pete begin to make life hell for the couple. When the Radners complain to the university dean, she informs them that the fraternity are two strikes away from being ousted from campus. The Radners plan to ensure that the fraternity gets their three strikes so they can live in peace again. However, Teddy has other plans to make sure he lives his dream of throwing the ultimate “end of year” bash.

The war between neighbors gets a whole new twist when of all things, a fraternity moves into the suburbs. The script is all about “adapting to change”. It is clear that the couple played by Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne were once the party animal types but changed once they had their daughter, yet they still have a bit of wild side in them. This is evident when they are invited to the fraternity to hang out for the first night.

Former Disney star Zac Efron truly has grown up and shows that he can do comedy quite well, but one truly has to give Dave Franco props in a scene stealing performance. In a funny scene of the film, Efron dresses up like Robert DeNiro’s Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver and Franco dresses as De Niro’s Jack Byrnes from the Focker trilogy. Franco outshines Efron here with a deadpan impersonation of Byrnes. Franco also serves as a voice of reason.

In addition to the verbal comedy, there is some physical comedy that is involved too and one will never think of airbags the same way again after seeing this. Rogen continues to prove himself as a physical comedian at times as well as being…well, Seth Rogen. Ike Barinholtz of Mad TV fame is not too bad as Jimmy, who also gets involved with a certain prank in the film. He helps the film drive when it seems to possibly get stuck.

Neighbors is definitely a funny movie. While Seth Rogen goes to war with Zac Efron and crew, one can’t help but laugh at Dave Franco’s De Niro impersonation. Overall, the film is worth a rental for sure. In 2016, a sequel was released, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising.

WFG RATING: B+

DVD/BLU-RAY

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