There’s a great stigma in regards to movie sequels; by taking forth the task of continuing the story you’re tackling the feat of either raising the bar or keeping it at an average level as the first, it’s far too easy for the sequel to fall flat if based in comparison. Was Bad Neighbours 2 needed? No. Is it, however, welcomed? Well, of course.
After ridding their neighbourhood of the Frat Bros next door, led by ultra dude Zac Efron, Mac and Kelly (Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne) are welcoming their second child amidst an unlikely return of Teddy (Efron). Soon after, they realise he, in a bid for vengeance, aims to aid a hapless squad of teenage girls to create their own sorority outside the Greek system (Frat houses can party, sororities, crazily, cannot) to allow them to live the full college lifestyle. The duo are about to close on their house, but their one month “no-fuck-ups-allowed” warning from their realtor ensues mass carnage as they once again aim to rid these sorority sisters, this time led by Chloe Grace Moretz, once and for all.
It’s hard to fully understand college life in the US; frat houses and sororities, endless parties all donned with endless supplies of weed, alcohol and so much sex the entire place would essentially be referred to as soft porn. Director Nicholas Stoller intends to tackle the norm with a divergent approach, addressing the blatant sexism in their otherworldly, almost baffling Greek culture amidst the hard laughs and manages to balance between hardcore comedy and a genuine anti-sexism stance. Whilst this is essentially the biggest, almost only, difference between the first and its sequel, Moretz and her band of sassy tweens are a refreshing take to the crude, outstandingly unpurified comic tropes lashed throughout this oddly all-male writing team behind the film’s franchise. You don’t often witness women carrying these films, and in this case Stoller’s writing team, including credits from Rogen himself, have created strong, independent individuals. And that’s about as deep as Bad Neighbours 2 gets.
The rest is ensuing mad chaos as both houses issue war as Teddy, the rippling catalyst the femme fatales are following, sits back and watches the drama unfold. Between bloody tampons and wall-thumping parties next door, the film’s core hilarity continues between the utterly pitch-perfect dynamic between Rogen and Byrne. Both comedic wonders, the laughs come quick and hard and unrelentingly so, more consistently executed than the first — though dick jokes are exchanged for dildos dressed in Princess outfits. Efron’s formulaic typecast, six-pack shades of duh is an irresistible highlight. Whilst it may be a tantalising tease for the eyes, Stoller finds creative ways of taking aim at Efron’s desirable assets, spinning laughs towards the actor’s greatest sell — take note Efron, you are actually a decent actor, don’t be typecast!
Bad Neighbours 2 wasn’t needed, though attempts to make it partial from the average sequel are noted. Sexism was rife in the first, like it is in most films of this type, so it’s refreshing to see a spin on the norm. It may retread almost every other step the original took, but if the laughs are still heartily produced as quick and as fast, fun will be had most indefinitely.
Dir: Nicholas Stoller
Scr: Nicholas Stoller, Seth Rogen, Andrew Jay Cohen, Brendan O’Brien, Evan Goldberg
Cast: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, Chloe Grace Moretz, Selena Gomez, Dave Franco
Prd: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen, James Weaver
Music: Michael Andrews