I admit it, I am a Seth Rogan fan… I know he’s not for everyone, but in general I have enjoyed the films he and his writing partner Evan Goldberg have put out, (with the exception of The Green Hornet). In that goofy, lovable, teddy bear sort of way, he reminds me of myself… except for the being Canadian part, which is merely a dream that will never be fulfilled.
Besides Rogan, Neighbors also stars former Disney kid Zac Efron, who plays the president of the local college fraternity, and is hell bent on making history by throwing the biggest bash. His fraternity moves in next to Seth Rogan and his wife and newborn baby… at first everything is hunky dory and they get along great, but when Rogan calls the cops with a noise complaint, he starts a war with the frat boys that he didn’t plan for.
I had mixed feelings about this film from the start, I wasn’t sure if this was going to be just another frat boy comedy (more Van Wilder, than Animal House) or if it was going to be a whole lot more. Just looking at the previews, I couldn’t really decide whether I should see this or not, but my motto when it comes to movies has always been “I’ll see any movie once”, so for 2 bucks at the local second run theater I gave it a shot.
For the most part, the movie was actually surprisingly better than I could have imagined. I’m not saying that it was a work of art worthy of owning… but the movie definitely had some very funny moments. The chemistry between Rogan/Efron made me think they have been friends for years, not to mention the casting of James Franco’s younger brother Dave was a smart choice. In fact, the two actors that I think really outshined the rest was Franco and Jerrod Carmichael. Dave Franco certainly surprised me, especially considering I didn’t even know he existed before this movie. And Carmichael who is also a relative newcomer (at least to me), was probably the funniest of the whole fraternity.
I was really impressed by the editing in the movie, particularly the montages which were cut to loud, and fast dance music. It looked like the editor(s) had a real fun time piecing that together.
A few disappointing things in the movie… Christopher Mintz-Plasse felt very underused in the film. I wonder if there was more to his character that got cut out, but for the most part it seemed his character was a pony that knows only one trick, and only appeared on screen to show it off. Considering the character that he DID play was unlike any of the other roles he’s come to inhabit, it was unfortunate that we couldn’t see more of it.
There was also one particular gag in the movie that I felt could have been left out. The physical comedy throughout the film was for the most part funny, and appropriate to story, but this gag which involved breast milk, went on a little too long and didn’t really tie into the movie in any way. On top of that, they kept calling back to that scene various times through the rest of the movie, which only made it more annoying. And I’m not someone who turns their nose up at gross out comedy, it just had no bearing on the plot of the movie. If it wasn’t for that scene, I probably would have given this movie much more praise.
Overall, the movie was fun and entertaining, as I said above, I don’t feel the need to own it… but for any Seth Rogan fans out there, it’s worth watching. And it’s still better than The Green Hornet.