Welcome distraction for a good night out

Bad Neighbours ANL-140605-125513001
Bad Neighbours ANL-140605-125513001

Gavin Miller’s double movie review

BAD NEIGHBOURS (15)

UNDATED - Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Atticus & Kit Harington as Milo in Pompeii. HANDOUT PHOTO ANL-140605-125531001

UNDATED - Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Atticus & Kit Harington as Milo in Pompeii. HANDOUT PHOTO ANL-140605-125531001

Cast: Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, Dave Franco, Christopher Mintz-Plasse & Lisa Kudrow

Running Time: 1hr 35mins

Director: Nicholas Stoller

This is arguably the best adult-teen comedy since last year’s We’re the Millers.

Seth Rogen may be a one-trick pony – pretty-much playing the same guy in all his drug and alcohol-fuelled comedies – but with able support from an ever-improving Zac Efron (High School Musical) and Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids), this is above average fare.

This comedy will really hit home with any couple sporting a newborn baby (like myself), as Mac (Rogen) and Kelly Radner (Byrne) struggle with the pangs of parenthood – battling tiredness to retain any semblance of their youth.

And if being a parent isn’t hard enough, when next door becomes a fraternity house, led by its enigmatic President Teddy (Efron) – who is aided by Dave Franco (Now You See Me) and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad’s McLovin) – their life is turned upside down by the constant around-the-clock partying and noise pollution.

It then turns into a game of tit-for-tat – with the expected high-jinks ensuing (headlined by a hilarious air bag scene) – as the Radners do the best to get Delta House evicted from the neighbourhood, and in turn the young revellers make their lives a living hell.

With its winning Rogen-Efron, Rogen-Byrne and Efron-Franco dynamics, along with its fair share of laugh-out-loud moments, Bad Neighbours definitely ends up towards the better Knocked Up and Superbad end of Rogen’s comedy catalogue – and is his best in quite some time.

As with most modern comedies, it does have its lulls and ridiculous moments, but for a night out this offers a welcomed distraction for the young adult demographic – without offering anything truly groundbreaking.

Rating: 3/5

REVIEW: POMPEII (12A)

Cast: Kit Harington, Emily Browning, Kiefer Sutherland, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Carrie-Anne Moss & Jared Harris

Running Time: 1hr 45mins

Director: Paul WS Anderson

With its love story amidst a disaster angle – it was tagged as being similar to Titanic.

Sadly the only thing it has in relation to that movie is that it sinks too.

This big-budget Gladiator-wannabe spectacle bombed across the pond – making only a meagre $23m on a $100m plus production budget – and it’s not hard to see why with its very TV movie feel.

With a few entertaining action set-pieces it’s not the worst film to while away nearly a couple of hours, with Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington proving to be an amiable lead as six-packed slave-turned-gladiator Milo; but sadly his chemistry with fellow warrior Atticus (played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, best known for playing Mr Eko in TV series Lost) is better than with rich merchant’s daughter Cassia (Sucker Punch’s Emily Browning).

And even though Milo and Cassia have taken a fancy towards one another, she is being forced to marry a corrupt Roman senator (played woefully by a hammed-up Kiefer Sutherland) – who (would you believe it) is the same guy who ordered the butchering of Milo’s family when he was a kid.

So as Mount Vesuvius erupts in the background – which causes the magnificent Pompeii to crumble in this 79AD-set adventure – Milo faces a race against time to save his new love before all the city’s inhabitants perish.

Sadly for a film that so badly wants to be a glorious blockbuster, its poorly executed special effects and lack of anything approaching a decent script really ruins what potentially could have been something so much better.

Rating: 2/5