Film review: Bad Neighbours 2 – Seth Rogen, Zac Efron battle sorority sisters in frat-party sequel
The story’s essentially a rerun of the first film, and there’s the gross-out humour you’d expect, but this movie shows surprising social awareness and sends itself up brilliantly - making it decent comedy
Infantile adults and stupid teenagers are back for another round of shenanigans in the American frat-party comedy Bad Neighbours 2, an amusing and yet socially aware sequel that no one seemed to be expecting. With gross-out humour peppering what’s essentially the same story as told in the 2014 original, Nicholas Stoller’s film nonetheless throws up surprises in the way it tackles gay marriage and female empowerment without irony and extracts poignancy from Seth Rogen and Zac Efron’s returning man-child characters.
Called Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising in the US, the movie picks up a few years after the first, when Mac (Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne), now expecting their second child, look to complete the sale of their house. When a sorority moves in next door, the couple must tackle not just its feisty leader Shelby (Chloë Grace Moretz), who insists on throwing parties outside the sleazy frat-party circuit, but also Teddy (Efron), the one-time frat boy and perpetually shirtless eye candy who has volunteered to be the girls’ mentor.
While none of its “old people” jibes or recycled airbag gags, nor its dildo-as-toy running joke, suggest a witty exposé of the limits of political correctness, the movie acquits itself with a welcome self-awareness that rebuts the lamentable identity politics of its misogynistic predecessor.
Leave it to Efron’s pitiable loser to deliver the movie’s best – and dumbest – lines: Teddy’s hilariously daft demeanour simply belies his very sad, last-gasp attempt to avoid adulthood. Bad Neighbours 2 is a decent comedy that does a marvellous job of sending itself up.
Bad Neighbours 2 opens on May 12
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