Posted April 30, 2014 by editor in Film Reviews

Bad Neighbours Review


Bad Neighbours sees the young family of Mac and Kelly Radner (portrayed by Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne) get used to the suburban life while their friends still maintain the city lifestyle. The arrival of their new born has forced them to put a hold on their lives, but both are happy with this and their respective company.

But this all changes when their neighbouring house is finally settled by a fraternity of a near by university. Enter Teddy (Zac Efron), Pete (Dave Franco) and the rest of the Delta Psi. The Radners take this opportunity for first impressions to show the heads of the frat how cool they are, with a peace offering in the form of a joint.

And, initially, all is well. Teddy and Mac are getting on, as much as a generational gap will allow. But, after a few restless nights of loud and their babies anguish, the Radners are forced to call the police. And this is when the hilarity truly ensues.

Helmed by the director of Forgetting Sarah Marshall and it’s spin-off, Get Him To The Greek, you would expect Bad Neighbours to be full of hilarious scenes and quotable one liners. But Nicholas Stoller’s latest offering has a tough job of matching his previous endeavours, and the struggles are seen on screen.

For a comedy starring such Hollywood heavyweights as Rogen and Efron, plus Byrnes’s efforts in Bridesmaids should make her a shoe-in for such a role. But the comedy gold just isn’t on offer in the resulting 100 minutes, which is a shame. But do look out for a Lisa Kudrow in her small role, sure to please the eye.

There are funny moments throughout, such as a Robert De Niro party and the Radner’s offspring playing with a condom (and the subsequent doctor’s appointment), while the long-known rite of ‘Bros before Hoes’ is put to it’s test. Most effectively, a fight played out between Efron and Rogen is the peak of hilarity for the feature. But there just seems to be something missing from the film.


Efron puts in a stellar performance, as he generally does, and wistfully embellishes in not taking himself too seriously – almost mimicking Channing Tatum’s turn in his recent comic bouts. Rogen is himself in this film, not bringing a whole lot new to the table. We’ve seen him smoke pot and get into silly fights before – though this may be the first time we see these calamities happen to him as a father. Knocked Up doesn’t count.

The leading men do bounce off each other and the chemistry between them was always going to be a huge part of whether this film worked or not, and thankfully it does. The scenes between Rogen and Efron are nearly at a par with some of the current comedic pairings we’ve seen on screen, and hopefully we can see this romance between the two blossom in future features.

But for now, Bad Neighbours is what’s on offer. A funny film it is, and you will enjoy it. But don’t hold out for a laugh a minute.

3 Stars



Chris Droney