REPPED: The world within the film feels fully realized. You have a cast of quirky characters that have their own personalities which makes everything in The ‘Burbs feel authentic. It’s a hyper realized depiction of suburban life but there’s enough to make it feel relatable without getting too outlandish. Despite Tom Hanks being the lead, he’s not the standout of the film. Hanks is the straight man and he does it well, but most of the other actors have a lot more personality than he does
NEGGED: Much like the characters and their motivations, the message of the film seems to be inconsistent. For most of the film, Tom Hanks seems to be uninterested in what’s going on in his neighbor’s house, but at other points, his character seems to change without any sort of reason. I won’t spoil the ending for those who haven’t seen it, but the film does a good job with the handling of its message until the final twist at the end which sort of undoes everything that came before it. Is the twist effective? Yes. However, in the grand scheme of the rest of the film, it just doesn’t fit.
FINAL VERDICT: The ‘Burbs is a darkly comedic tale that’s a bit muddled in its overall message. Its biggest strength is the world built around the film and the amazing talent in front of the screen. It doesn’t handle all of its ideas perfectly, but its whole vibe of suburban life keeps it from being a total dud.