Movie Reviews

‘Bad Neighbours’: Irreverent fun with heart

By Anjali RaguramanMovies - 09 May 2014 12:00 AM

‘Bad Neighbours’: Irreverent fun with heart

Our Rating

4/5 Stars

The divide between 30-somethings and 20-somethings seems to make for excellent material in this comedy about grown-ups still learning to grow up – all in the midst of a suburban war between new parents played by Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne, and a party boy played by Zac Efron.

It’s all misbehaviour and mayhem in this R21 movie filled with sex, drugs and loud EDM (electronic dance music). But despite the incessant penis and breasts jokes, crudeness, and vulgarity, there is a surprising veracity in the storytelling.

The director (Nicholas Stoller, ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall') and screenwriters Andrew J Cohen and Brendan O'Brien, manage to create characters and not mere caricatures.


Rogen and Australain actress Byrne play Mac and Kelly Radner, a couple with a young baby who have just put all their savings on a house in suburban America. Their sex life is suffering while they adjust to having a baby in their lives. There are also desperate attempts to hang on to their youth and pre-baby lifestyles.

Rose Byrne (left) and Seth Rogen play new parents in 'Bad Neighbours'

Then a college fraternity, Delta Psi Beta, moves in right next door to their perfect neighbourhood, with Teddy (Efron) as the fraternity's sexy and virile president. Accompanied by his righthand man Pete (Dave Franco, brother of James Franco), and a motley crew of frat guys, they invite their next-door neighbours into their home to party with them.

Getting along amid the noise and in-your-face debauchery, however, is easier said than done, and the cops are soon in the picture. This leads to an all-out war between the neighbours with various acts of sabotage.


What keeps the film grounded from spiralling into pure mayhem are the strong, talented performances of its characters.

Watch for the sound-off on who is their favourite Batman, one of many hilarious scenes that perfectly captures the dynamics between the two warring parties.

Zac Efron (left) as Teddy, has a gift for comedy

Efron, who is shirtless most of the film, has completely shed any vestige of his preppy, clean-cut self from his days on the ‘High School Musical’ movie series. He is surprisingly winsome as Teddy. Even as the token hot guy, he has an unexpected gift for comedy, playing off comedy stalwart Rogen with ease.

Byrne proves she also has comedy chops, and holds her own in this testosterone-filled rage of a movie.

As new parents, the Radners struggle to come to terms with their new responsibilities

There are poignant moments in there, as the characters come to terms with their responsibilities and their future. And despite the absolutely juvenile and ridiculous scenes, the visual gags and slapstick nonsense are palatable because the group of them are so likable.

The movie definitely has the potential to achieve cult status, much like Rogen’s other movie, ‘Pineapple Express’. 

'Bad Neigbours' is now showing in cinemas

Movie Photos

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  • Neighbours 2014
  • Neighbours 2014
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  • Bad Neighbours 2014
  • Bad Neighbours 2014
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  • Bad Neighbours 2014
Bad Neighbours
  • Bad Neighbours

  • Rated
    R21 /
  • Language
  • (1 Review)