STARRING: Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, Dave Franco, Halston Sage
DIRECTOR: Nicholas Stoller
THE SKINNY: A young married couple (Rogen and Byrne) with a newborn have the perfect house in the suburbs until a wild fraternity led by the ultimate party boy (Efron) moves in next door. When the couple complains about the noise, it's war. The pranks start off harmless enough, but before you know it, things get real.
VENUS - JOANNE SOH
If there's a movie that Zac Efron is destined to make (other than High School Musical, obviously), this is it.
He should really forget about attempting serious, grown-up, sappy dramas such as Charlie St. Cloud or The Lucky One.
Efron is certainly in his element here as Teddy, the preening fraternity leader whose supertight torso is on constant display. If you've got it, flaunt it, right?
Yes, ladies, this one is for us, especially his final scene.
I'm not a fan of raunchy, crude comedies such as director Stoller's Forgetting Sarah Marshall or any of Rogen's flicks, but I was genuinely tickled despite some really silly and crass gags.
Efron is hilarious here and he brings some sympathetic quality to his otherwise clichéd himbo douchebag character.
Another happy discovery: Rogen may be the seasoned pro in this genre, but it's Byrne who steals the show.
It's great to see the Aussie actress - she keeps her real accent here - doing another physical comedy, her last successful one being Bridesmaids.
Proving a great partner to Rogen's over-the-top shenanigans, Byrne's comedic timing is excellent.
She delivers an impressive performance and it's nice that she's given the chance to be the brains in the operation to take down Teddy.
MARS - JASON JOHNSON
How do you feel about having fun at the movies?
If you dig it, then this is basically a must-see.
Bad Neighbours is pure entertainment, not just super funny but also incredibly relatable.
I can't imagine that there is anyone out there who won't see a bit of himself in either Rogen or Efron.
Of course, the percentage of those on Team Rogen will be considerably higher.
Or maybe I should just speak for myself, middle-aged schlub that I am.
More than just another mindless comedy, Bad Neighbours is actually kinda deep in the way it explores the pros and cons of two very different lifestyles.
Is it better to settle down or just party on?
I mean, it's a good question. It's an important question.
Rogen and Efron do a masterful job of trying to answer this question.
Both avoid the easy cliches - the dad's a dork, the frat boy's a douche - and instead present us with well-rounded dudes.
Rogen is hip and humorous. Efron is soulful and sensitive.
More importantly, both are super funny and their climactic battle is one of the best pieces of slapstick you're going to see all year.
I respect the heck out of filmmakers who can balance silliness and weightiness.
This article was published on May 7 in The New Paper.
Get The New Paper for more stories.