"Neighbors" (R) **(out of four)
If "Neighbors" proves anything, it's that Seth Rogen has overstayed his welcome in the gross-out, ribald comedy neighborhood. There are funny scenes in the movie to be sure (including a clever ode to Robert DeNiro and a creative use of car airbags), but ultimately, "Neighbors" doesn't chart any new territory when it comes to R-rated comedies.
Rogen and Rose Byrne star as Mac and Kelly Radner, a set of new parents whose dream life is turned into a living nightmare when a college fraternity moves into the house next door. Led by hard-core frat boy Teddy Sanders (Zac Efron), the partying by he and his house mates immediately gets out of hand, leading to a war of pranks between the neighbors that quickly escalates out of control.
Painfully unoriginal, "Neighbors," naturally, aspires to be the next "Animal House," to which it falls woefully short. Instead, the movie anchors itself to the same-old crude humor and pervasive language that's kept one-too-many of Rogen's movies afloat. There's no doubt Rogen, Efron and Byrne are good at what they do (Byrne is about the only one that shows us anything new, with a foul-mouthed turn away from her sweet and innocent "Bridesmaids" character), but in the end, "Neighbors" only caters to a limited, younger-skewing audience unfamiliar with the real campus comedy classics.
Tim Lammers is a veteran entertainment reporter and a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association. He annually votes on the Critics Choice Movie Awards. Locally, he reviews films for BringMeTheNews, “KARE 11 News at 11” and 96.3 K-TWIN, among other radio stations.