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Bad Neighbours - Review

Bad Neighbours

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

ZAC Efron and Seth Rogen go to war in the outrageously funny Bad Neighbours, another winning comedy from the director of Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him To The Greek.

Revelling in its adult humour, some of it borderline inappropriate but hilarious nonetheless, this is a comedy that deserves to sit alongside Animal House and Old School as a classic of its kind.

Rogen and Rose Byrne play new parents and homeowners Mac and Kelly Radner, whose apparently idyllic – if cash-strapped new life – is placed under threat by the arrival of a fraternity next door headed by Efron’s Teddy Sanders and his best buddy Pete (Dave Franco).

At first, Mac and Kelly attempt to be credible and join the party, viewing the fraternity’s arrival as an opportunity to revisit their own youth. But when the parties refuse to stop, they resort to increasingly desperate measures to thwart them, leading to a battle of wits between the two neighbours.

Nicholas Stoller’s film has some credible things to say about the thin line between coming-of-age and maturity while also pointing its finger at the absurdity of the frat house scenario and, as a result, plays equally well to parents and teenagers.

It also aims squarely for the funny bone and lands some sizeable blows, generating several laugh out loud moments while always keeping a smile on your face (highlights include fun with car airbags and a riotously funny smackdown between Efron and Rogen, not to mention a Robert De Niro themed party that is loaded with great gags).

Admittedly, the film does become quite OTT the longer it lasts but a brief running time works in its favour and ensures that it doesn’t outstay its welcome.

The performances are great too with Rogen nicely subverting his stoner image as the ‘mature dad’ and Efron obliterating his clean-cut, Disney poster child image of old and displaying some good comic timing. The chemistry between Rogen and Efron is particularly good.

Byrne also puts in good work as the mum (and has a boob gag to rival some of the outrageous stuff in Bridesmaids), while the likes of Franco and Lisa Kudrow, as the high school principal, also make their mark.

All in all, this is a wildly funny, crowd-pleasing night out that delivers everything you may have been hoping for and quite possibly some more.

Certificate: 15
Running time: 90mins
UK Release Date: Saturday, May 3, 2014