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NEIGHBORS Movie Review – Seth Rogen is Here to Stay

At this point in Seth Rogen’s career, it’s pretty obvious what’s in store for audiences, at least when he’s starring in a R-rated comedy. Lots of improv, lots of genitalia and lots of Rogen freaking out over things, because his voice is perfect for freaking out. Ever since 2007’s Knocked Up, Rogen has stuck to this formula, and it still works. His new film, Neighbors, only solidifies his status as a comedy maestro.

Mac and Kelly (Rogen and Rose Byrne, speaking in her native Australian tongue) are new parents who’ve poured all their money into a nice house in a nice neighborhood. They live a mostly normal life, with Mac working in an office, where he sneaks off to get high with Jimmy (Ike Barinholtz) while Kelly stays at home with their daughter. That life is put to the test once a fraternity, led by Zac Efron and Dave Franco, moves in next door. At first, they love the idea of partying with younger kids. But once the parties bleed into the work week and they can’t sleep, that love goes right out the window, and the cops are called, igniting a war between the neighbors.

Neighbors wants to be a frat movie, in the vein of Animal House. At times, it is. Personally, it’s more like a fraternity version of the Tom Hanks film The ‘Burbs, but that’s just me. The lengths these neighbors go to make each other’s lives hell is lots of fun. The film doesn’t quite go as far as it could, but it’s still good fun.

It really is amazing how Rogen’s schtick has yet to sour. He’s Seth Rogen in every movie, and in the hilarious This is the End he is literally Seth Rogen. But, the man is so funny it doesn’t matter. It’s as if he’s the heir apparent to Will Ferrell’s crown as the king of cinematic comedy. The best part about him is he lets everyone else in on the fun, unlike, say an Eddie Murphy, who for the most part made sure he was the only funny thing in his movies. Even Rose Byrne, who typically plays serious roles, is up to the task of acting opposite Rogen. The most surprising part about Neighbors? Even Zac Efron is game.

Efron, whose never made what one would call a good movie, is having the time of his life playing up his image as man candy opposite Rogen, Franco, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and the rest of his fraternity brothers. He’ll never be mistaken with an actor like Edward Norton, but he fits right in with the cast of Neighbors.

Neighbors may not be up there with Superbad or This is the End, but it’s a fun and funny film that constantly entertains. It also solidifies the idea that whatever Rogen is doing, it’s going to work for a very, very long time.



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The Author

Ryan Hill

Ryan Hill

Ryan Hill used to spend his time writing screenplays into a notebook instead of doing homework. That love of film and all things storytelling led him to spend most of his time writing. He's been a film critic in North Carolina for over five years, and his debut novel, THE BOOK OF BART, is out now. Please buy it. Ryan also feels odd about referring to himself in the third person.