“This is utterly ridiculous!”
What makes a comedy actually funny, you might ask. Well, if you asked the makers of Neighbors, they’d tell you that you’d need non-stop weed and dick jokes. This film is filled to the brim with them, most of which are highly ridiculous and or go on for far too long. To some of you, this sounds like the formula for a great comedy, and even though I usually like these type of movies (especially the ones with Seth Rogen in it), this film ultimately disappoints, as settles for a half-assed story made up of jokes that miss more often than they actually hit.
First off, this film practically has no story. The previews paint the story as this: a frat moves in next door and the parents try to have them move out so that they can raise their new-born baby in peace. But sadly, the story here is less than what we were lead to believe. The baby has maybe ten minutes of screen-time, tops, which is quite disappointing because she is easily the highlight of the movie. Instead, we get to see Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne smoke weed and party with college kids. Nice.
At times, I couldn’t help but feel like they got away with making a college sequel to Project X, as most of the film’s partying scenes feel as vulgar and crass as that movie. Actually, this one might be even more tasteless than Project X at times (the scene involving Rose Byrne‘s breasts, for example). Granted, this movie actually has some funny jokes here in there to balance the irresponsible partying, but it’s just odd how that one got panned by critics and this one didn’t.
Even Seth Rogen, who I usually like, was bad here. Okay, I wouldn’t call him bad, per se, but he was pretty bland. He even verged towards Kevin James-territory at times, which is why I laughed when they referenced said-actor here. And I think it’s safe to say that I officially hate Carla Gallo (period blood chick from Superbad) as an actress. Her role in the movie, as well as her husband’s, are absolutely pointless and it didn’t help that she was annoying as shit.
Thankfully, this film isn’t completely terrible, thanks to the fact that some of the film’s more obscure gags actually work. Zac Efron should actually follow the career path that Channing Tatum is following, because Efron is much more suited for comedies than anything else. He Rose Byrne are responsible for most of the film belly laughs, which sadly isn’t as much as it should be. Some of the other supporting cast is funny at times, such as Hannibal Buress and Jerrod Carmichael, who actually have the best one-liners of the film, but are only used in a handful of scenes.
Overall, Neighbors is an overrated misfire. For a film that they seemed to have much confidence in, it’s evident that Universal chopped this film to bits in the editing room, leaving us with a film with far too many drug-related and dick jokes that just don’t work over a story that, while idiotic, could have been fleshed out more. There are some stand-outs here, but not enough to save this film sadly.
“I think the frat stole all the airbags…”
– Score Sheet –
*Stella, the baby, is adorable
*The Robert DeNiro party scene
*Efron is actually pretty funny, as are some of the supporting actors
*The sad excuse for a plot, even for a comedy
*Most of the jokes are just too vulgar to actually enjoy
*God-awful special effects
2.5 out of 5