Censor Rating: R (USA), A (India)
My Score: 2.5/5
Fun movies are really hard to come by. When you think about it, making people laugh is an extremely important and difficult part of the movie making business. There are some awesome movies like the Cornetto Trilogy and then there are the pathetic ones like the “Focker” flicks. Finding the right balance is the key which makes a comedy movie tick. Bag Neighbors belongs in an area which falls in between these 2.
The precise of the movie is pretty simple. Just-Become-A-Parent couple Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne are the usual couple coping with a life which involves having a child to take care of. Their lives are spiced up when Zack Efron and his Fraternity move next door and cause mayhem. What follows for roughly 2 hours is a game of cat and mouse. Each side has their movements and the finale is something which we would already know.
Direction & Story: Storywise, it seems just a run of the mill one involving 2 parties trying to go all out smart each other as they progress in their regular lives. Honestly, this movie isn’t really about the story. The screenplay and dialogues are the real key to such movies. The writers have tried to take advantage of Seth Rogan’s excellent comic timing and delivery by mashing up some really good dialogues and sequences.
That’s where the writing begins and ends. There are a lot of scenes added which don’t make sense. The way some scenes are linked together just confuses the natural flow of the movie. Planning wise, it looks haphazard.
Nicholas Stoller has a decent direction resume whose highlight is “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”. Those directorial trails can be seen in this movie. However, overall the movie looked unplanned. Nicholas knows how to execute his screenplay but doesn’t seem to have the charm to make it interesting.
The Cast: A Rogen vs Efron setup was a really cool idea which works to a large extent. However, the kind of depth shown by Rogen isn’t really echoed back by Efron and this is where the movie goes for a toss. The Rogen-Byrne chemistry, interestingly, is the highlight of the movie for me. Rose is a really nice actor who shows that she can pull off comedy. Her emotional side is lacking though which seemed forced.
Seth Rogen is good in whatever he does. He knows his strengths and weakness and works accordingly to those. He tries very hard to carry the movie on his shoulders.
Zac Efron does a decent enough job but cant really match up Rogen’s pedigree. The kid can act but he has a long way to go before he can really match up a good comedy movie. Dave Franco, fresh from “Now You See Me”, also does a decent job but feels underutilized.
Bottomline: If you want to have a good laugh for 80% of the movie, just go and watch it. The movie has some good situational comedy and dialogues. As a package, it looks like a better sequenced Jackass movie. It doesn’t have the awesomeness that “This is the End” (Rogen’s release from last year) had. Go have a good laugh and come out smiling.