'Neighbors' not neighborly or fun

Gary Wolcott, atomictown.comMay 8, 2014 

Film Review Neighbors

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Zac Efron in a scene from "Neighbors." (AP Photo/Universal Pictures, Glen Wilson)


All you really need to know about Neighbors is that it stars Seth Rogen. Easy, peasy. His movies resonate with you or they don't.

I'm a don't. I don't want to be a don't, but I am.

Neighbors pits the iffy comic talent of Rogen against a desperate to be more than a pretty boy Zac Efron. The latter plays the president of a college fraternity who buys the house next door to Rogen and Rose Byrne's (Bridesmaids) Mac and Kelly Radner.

Party on.

Efron's Teddy is determined to give his fraternity a legendary year, so he lets Mac and Kelly know that things may get loud from time to time. That's OK with them. They like to party hearty too. But not all the time. So a deal is struck that Mac and Kelly won't call the police if things get a bit out of hand and too noisy.

A day later, a party gets out of hand and when they can't get Teddy to answer the phone, the police are called. That sets off a bad boy battle.

Directed by Forgetting Sarah Marshall's Nicholas Stoller and written by two first-time screenwriters, Neighbors is packed with not-so-funny, sometimes disconnected and predictable fraternity movie bits.

When we were 15, movies like Neighbors were funny. Today they're not.

Rogan is an immense talent and is a lot like Adam Sandler. There is so much talent there but much of it unexplored because his focus as an actor, writer and producer is drab, language-filled, raunchy comedies that are beginning to blend one with another.

That's sad because you can't help but like the guy. Rogen is the goofy, nice guy you'd love to have living next door. Like Sandler, he is very accessible, and it's easy to imagine him joining you on your deck for some laughs and a couple of beers at the end of a hot summer day.

That's ironic considering the subject of this review is the badly done Neighbors.

Director: Nicholas Stoller

Stars: Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, Christopher Mintze-Plasse, Dave Franco, Lisa Kudrow, Andy Samberg

Mr. Movie rating: 1 star

Rated R for mature themes, language, sex, brief nudity. It's playing at Regal's Columbia Center 8, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.

-- Is Mr. Movie terrific in his take on movies? Let him know at www.tricityherald.com/arts/mrmovie.

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