REVIEW: Neighbors (Bad Neighbours, 2014)

“Bad” is an operable word in two senses…

Released simply as Neighbors in America, Bad Neighbours is a comedy film whose plot consists of a college fraternity moving in next door to two new parents and their young daughter. After a couple of “misunderstandings,” a prank war breaks out between the frat and the couple which causes them to try and get the college kids evicted. It’s Animal House in suburbia and about as good as that sounds.

Actually, forget that, I can explain this film much better in just a few words: pecs, dildos, breast milk, and retards. While the film only runs for 97 minutes, a good half of that is just the couple, which consists of Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) pretending like they’re back in college themselves in the most embarrassingly over-the-top way possible. Although they’re playing a couple barely ten years older than the kids, they act in a way which implies they’ve forgotten how young people actually act. Apparently, having a kid fries your goddamn brain! This includes engaging in the most stereotypical and obvious “yoof” behaviour possible, with retarded “waka” and “braaap” gestures being the full extent of their college repertoire. To be fair, this probably isn’t the least-original aspect of the film as that honour is probably given to the fraternity themselves.

Known as Delta-Psi, the fraternity are well-regarded for their ridiculously wild parties, and it’s the dream of the president Teddy (played by the 26-year-old Zac Efron) and vice-president Pete (28-year-old Dave Franco) to throw a party so big and memorable that it gets them onto the fraternities’ “Board of Fame,” which also includes the supposed inventors of the toga party and beer pong. There are also multiple other members of the frat who were so original and well-written that I have forgotten almost everything about them. I say almost, because I remember that one of them is supposed to have a massive penis. A MASSIVE PENIS THAT CAN WRAP AROUND SOMEONE’S NECK. How flaming hysterical is that!?

I’m aware that this isn’t the sort of motion picture that would even be able to spell MENSA never mind join it, but the amount of dumb included in this film is ridiculous. The couple want to be young again before they miraculously grow old by pulling pranks, one of the members of the frat gets disillusioned by the partying because he’s worried about his future, and everyone in any position of authority are automatically stupid or crooked. Also, weed is your friend!

With a script written by two first-timers, you might be able to forgive Bad Neighbours‘ flaws, yet I can’t. Rather than watching this film again, I would jump at the the chance of re-watching the extended edition of In the Name of the King, a Uwe Boll film so bad even Jason Statham refused to take part in the sequel. Avoid.

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