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Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Bad Moon Rising

In the increasingly regimented parlance of modern film criticism, Bad Neighbours might be described as a post-gross-out, frat house shock comedy. Lowering your expectations to accept casual bawdiness and a careless disregard for the consequences of ones actions will certainly help you enjoy this film. There are plenty of laughs to be had, but most of them are guilty ones. While great comedy is about subtlety, timing and emotional response, Bad Neighhbours is not, relying instead on the current penchant for shock, awe and improv. The film's problems are clear to see. Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne's new parents are not as sympathetic as they could be, and the conflict seems to go from an amiable 2 or 3 to all out war 11 very quickly. This is probably just about dealable-with, but seeing the joins in the improv sail past as some gags outstay their welcome is unnecessary. Zac Efron probably emerges with the most credit, eschewing his heart-throb image to get his hands (and mouth) dirty as the frat king, ably supported by Dave Franco, and there are some other familiar faces to spot, including an underused Lisa Kudrow and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who also has little to do. That Bad Neighbours does not pull its punches is a good thing, and there is sufficient to like and to laugh at (guiltily or otherwise) that shortcomings can be forgiven, especially after a glass of wine (or a keg). Watch out for a blink-and-miss-it cameo from Andy Samberg of Brooklyn Nine-Nine and SNL fame, although fans of Officer Peralta might be left wishing for more of the excellent cop comedy instead of the Bad Neighbours' schlock.

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