Starring: Zac Efron, Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Dave Franco, Lisa Kudrow, Halston Sage, Ali Cobrin (Rated MA – 96 min).
Retitled Bad Neighbours down-under and Europe to avoid confusion with the long running television soap opera, also not to be mistaken as a remake of the John Belushi 1981 opus, Neighbors. To say this comedy pushes the boundaries of decency is actually the adventurous charm of a throwback to classic retro sex comedies. Constant profanity and low-brow humour acknowledges the classic Porky’s, infused with a generous slice of American Pie, celebrating Revenge of the Nerds triumphs, while centered around Animal House never-ending fraternity gatherings. Incidentally the late Belushi claimed cult status after appearing in the timeless, Animal House.
Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) seemingly settle down with their newborn into quiet suburbia. Before too long, a large contingent of college students move into the house next door with night after night of loud celebrations. Friendly generational banter between the groups takes a turn when Mac calls the police to shut the party to end all parties down. Unfortunately that decision created a revenge trigger effect of youth verses elders. The challenge of wits evolve into nasty pranks, a battle royale of dirty deeds grow into a mass of destructive events too obscene to describe here.
Excess vulgarity is only the beginning, the script throws everything into the mix while fans of Robert DeNiro are certainly in for a treat. Stunning, Halston Stage made an impression in The Bling Ring, she backs up that talent here as Brooke, a young lady with more than just physical attraction on her mind. Watch her scenes closely, even when in the background. Suitably amusing is Australian Rose Byrne, so wicked in Get Him to the Greek and Bridesmaids, she has a potential problem of more than just noise next door, young boys may just be her weakness. Seth Rogen and Zac Efron are on opposite ends of the looks spectrum which creates an array of visual innuendo, they have perfect comic timing of sarcastic responses.
High School Musical was never like this, of course Efron takes his shirt off and more. As one of the few normal characters, Lisa Kudrow is admirable as the University Dean on the prowl against the disruptive fraternity. Her objective to halt the party animals goes full circle. The whole cast go to great lengths to be realistic in the most outrageous of circumstances, gross out flashes are inescapable. Bad Neighbours is boisterous entertainment for those with an open mind, an exploration of insensitive but very funny crude antics.
Shane A. BassettSydney Unleashed is one of Australia’s premier entertainment publications exploring the latest in lifestyle trends. From Sydney’s finest restaurants, cafes and bars to the hottest in gadgets, products, and home entertainment, Sydney Unleashed is your one-stop lifestyle platform.