I admire Zac Efron.
In a cinematic milieu where pretty women get branded sex icons, hunky guys do superhero movies, and Oscars are given to anyone who breaks free of their typecast, Zac Efron is simply hot.
He’s not a breakout, he’s not a seasoned vet, he’s not a comeback kid. He’s Zac Efron, former Disney star; the eternal, sunshine-kissed stud.
With Neighbors, the new comedy from Nicholas Stoller (The Five-Year Engagement, Get Him To the Greek), we see a tiny glimpse of something more from Zac Efron. He’s still riding his sex appeal, his status as a male sex icon of the Brando type, but he’s pushing his margin a little. His Neighbors character starts as a classic frat jock bro, a very Efron role, complete with abs and bad manners.
But then something changes. He’s sitting in a wheelchair, brandishing a baseball bat. He looks dangerous.
Neighbors features a razor-sharp script, pro comic actors, a necessary level of stupidity, and an adequate amount of social commentary without being annoying.
Mac (Rogen) and Kelly (Byrne) miss their days of fun, they’re a little bored. Against their better judgement, they like the wild frat parties next door. But things clash after Mac calls the cops when the party goes too late.
The pranks get pulled. Neighbors unfolds much like we expect. We cling along for the punchlines between Rogen and Byrne (and for their refreshing, believable onscreen chemistry) and to see Efron from every angle.