Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Review: Bad Neighbours

World of Blackout Film Review

Bad Neighbours Poster

Bad Neighbours (or "Neighbors" if you're not in the UK)
Cert: 15 / 97 mins / Dir. Nicholas Stoller
WoB Rating: 4/7

Is this really only 97 minutes? It seems longer when you're in there. Nick Stoller's frat-boy comedy feels like a spiritual successor to Superbad and Knocked Up for its star, Seth Rogen, who comfortably eases into the role of the mid-life crisis next door, and he and Rose Byrne give the most value for money in their roles as suburban parents who have a fraternity house move in yards away from them. The film has plenty of chuckles and a few scattered belly laughs, as well as all the dick, fart and weed jokes you've come to expect from this ensemble.

What it lacks, unfortunately, is both heart and narrative drive*1. Bad Neighbours never becomes more than a collection of individually humourous sketches, and when they're played in succession, the whole thing starts to sag. By no means awful, but it's an also-ran, even by Rogen's fluctuating standards.

But, as I sat down in Screen 2 to watch this film, the trailer was playing for the Mrs Br*wn's B*s film, followed by the trailer for A Million Ways To Die In The West, then Blended. Which pretty much makes Bad Neighbours the average-looking punter who rolls up to a party with a bunch of ugly friends in an attempt to make themselves look hotter.
And after a fashion, the film succeeds on that level if no other.

Is the trailer representative of the film?
Well, all the best gags are spoiled by the trailer, so yes.

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?
Not for me.

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
DVD, tops.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?

Will I watch it again?
Maybe, but it won't be by my choosing.

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?
I didn't hear one.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

And my question for YOU is…
Do you get the feeling that Christopher Mintz-Plasse knows he's painted himself into a corner, now?

*1 I know that sounds like I'm asking too much, but the Rogen-penned Superbad had both, as did Stoller's Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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