Comedy pair not half bad
BAD NEIGHBOURS ( MA15+)
Starring: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, Dave Franco, Lisa Kudrow.
Director: Nicholas Stoller ( Forgetting Sarah Marshall) NOT since Bridesmaids has an American comedy channelled the chortles quite like this.
Just like Bridesmaids, Bad Neighbours always plays hard, often gets dirty and simply refuses to let any momentum achieved subside for a moment.
In fact, Bad Neighbours churns up so many waves of big, booming laughter that the smaller details responsible for making such a splash might initially elude the viewer.
Put it this way: any movie that can extract a credibly strong and nuanced performance from the much- maligned Zac Efron must be doing a hell of a lot right.
Same goes for any movie that can make what should be a tired plot go the distance with ease.
Here’s the set- up: Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne play Mac and Kelly, a young married couple who can’t get over how grown- up and adult they are becoming.
The pair have just had their first baby and are happily mortgaged to the hilt in their first home.
Just as we are about to buy the illusion that Mac and Kelly are living the dream, along comes the nightmare to set the record straight.
A freight truck pulls up next door. Somebody is moving in – actually, make that a whole lot of somebodies. Uh- oh, it’s worse than that – a complete college fraternity’s worth of somebodies.
That’s right. Mac, Kelly and their months- old infant must now live mere metres away from a party scheduled never to end.
After several diplomatic efforts fail, Mac and Kelly find themselves in an ever- escalating war with the near- psychotic president of the fraternity Teddy ( Efron) and his loyal lieutenant Pete ( Dave Franco).
On each side of the fence, a sketchy sequence of elaborately ridiculous schemes is enacted.
Some are stupidly clever ( watch for what happens when Mac goes looking for the airbags that have been stolen from his car), while some are cleverly stupid ( faced with a damages bill that could see them evicted, the college boys come up with a fund- raising idea that would surely be outlawed in most states).
Rogen and Byrne prove to be a surprisingly effective comic pairing, with neither slacking off when it comes to landing the low- blows necessary to send audiences off on a high.
As for Efron, he really comes into his own as the battle for peace and quiet gets lewder and louder. All in all, the smartest dumb movie to come along in quite some time.
Opens at Village Cinemas Thursday, May 8