Neighbors needs to move away


The creators of “This is the End” tried to score again with this comedy about a couple with a new child who have to deal with the difficulties of a college fraternity that has moved in right next door. It almost sounds like the perfect combination of “Old School” and “Animal House,” but the film falls short of those expectations.

Seth Rogen does his normal act as a schlubby, new father who seems to be the older, more mature version of Ben Stone from “Knocked Up.” His performance isn’t anything special, which is to say that his frantic demeanor is still one of the funnier aspects of this film. The same goes for Zac Efron who seems to have the “jock” role down to a science. It is nothing we haven’t seen before, just applied in a different way – a way that allows him to be as raunchy and foul-mouthed as we have ever seen before. The two most surprising performances come from Rose Byrne and Ike Barinholtz. Byrne, who is most notable for her role in “Insidious,” is surprisingly funny as a mother who wants the best for her child and is a woman who doesn’t want to admit that she is getting old. Barinholtz, from MadTV fame, makes for a convincing loser and screw-up as Rogen’s sidekick.

And thus the movie pretty much just focuses on three things: Drugs, alcohol and sex, from which the movie does find humor. But the jokes get old fast. Generally, there can only be so many similar jokes about genitalia before it gets stale. There seems to be no attempt to shake up the traditional party movie, but instead compounds with the requisites of past films. There is the jerk jock, the smart jock, the druggy jock and the hip jock, all of whom are supposed to be bad guys because they are “too cool” with almost no redeeming qualities. Well, this film seldom does and instead focuses on how much of a nuisance they are in the constant search to make a name for themselves.

“Neighbors” suffers from a new disease in cinema: a bunch of teens saw an average film and praised it as the holy grail of modern comedies. This is a slightly above average Seth Rogen movie at best, not even touching the greatness of movies such as “Knocked Up” and “Pineapple Express.” Honestly, his previous film “This is the End” is a better overall comedy and never ceases to be funny throughout the entirety of the film. “Neighbors” is like 3/4 of a film: It has some pretty funny moments, but the moments are quickly overplayed to the point it is just boring.