The original Bad Neighbours was a surprise hit in 2014, hiding a whip smart script behind a cavalcade of gross gags and disreputable behaviour. Seth Rogen and Zac Efron had a sword fight with dildos. Rose Byrne and Rogen had a great bit involving heavily swollen and lactating breasts. That all sounds pretty appalling in retrospect. It was funny at the time.
Unfortunately, time has not been so kind to this most routing of follow-ups, where a decent story and some amusing set-pieces have been heavily diluted by the same old sequel product.
In Bad Neighbours Rogen and Byrne played Mac and Kelly Radner, new parents battling a neighbouring frat house led by freewheeling party animal Teddy (Efron). This time Chloe Grace Moretz’s newly established sorority has moved in next door to cause a ruckus that threatens the sale of the Radner’s home. The law of sequels dictates that they join forces with a still-listless Teddy to take down the new neighbours before their buyers pull out of the deal.
Though the execution is at times ill-considered, the script once again tackles some smart ideas about feminism and the objectification of women in frat culture. What’s missing, though, is any kind of cutting edge to its humour. A recurring bit about the Rander’s two-year-old daughter playing with a dildo never quite hits the mark, while Billy Eichnar’s amusing cameo as an unhinged real estate agent is sorely underused. The rest is just a basic re-hash of the first movie’s greatest hits – yes, the airbags rear their heads yet again – only this time the jokes are older and a lot less fun. Perhaps it’s not just the characters who need to move on.
Runtime: 92 mins; Genre: Comedy; Released: 6 May 2016;
Director: Nicholas Stoller; Writer: Nicholas Stoller;
Cast: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, Chloe Grace Moretz
Click here to watch the trailer for Bad Neighbours 2: Sorority Rising