by Jo Johnstone
Bad Neighbours was the surprise hit of 2014. The film followed a young newlywed couple as they brought their first house and had to contend with a fraternity of boys moving in next door. The film featured all-out war between the two and was destined to have a sequel.
For Bad Neighbours 2, Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, and Zac Efron all return for this comedy sequel with the addition of Chloë Grace Moretz as the sorority sister from hell. Sticking to the already successful formula of the first film, Bad Neighbours 2 is a gross out comedy that is sure to please fans of the original.
The film picks up a few years after the first. Mac (Rogen) and Kelly (Byrne) are raising their young daughter when they realise they are expecting a second child. While selling their house to move to a bigger one. a sorority of young girls, led by Shelby (Grace Moretz), move in next door. The girls are being mentored by their former student neighbour Teddy (Efron), who resents the couple for his criminal record gained in the previous film. Yet when Teddy decides to switch sides and help the family, it is all-out war with the girls.
The sequel sees Nicholas Stoller, known for Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek, back in the directing chair with Rogen again serving as producer to the film.
In terms of narrative and concept, the sequel has stayed true to the original film. It’s the young married couple fighting a group of crazed partying students accept this time, the students are girls. The film has three joining plots which all get equal attention in the film. There is the couple vs the students. The female students desire to create a sorority that is allowed to hold their own parties and, finally, Teddy’s reluctance to move on past his college days. Each narrative offers its own jocularity and paces this comedy well.
The bulk of the humour comes from the war between the two houses and the pranks they play on one another. As the film progresses, the pranks become more elaborate, even sending one character on a wild goose chase around the world.
As with all Seth Rogen comedies there is a fair share of gross humour. From a scene where Kelly vomits on Mac’s face during sex to the scene where the students throw used tampons at the couple’s window, its grim viewing and not for the easily offended.
A lot of the films appeal is thanks to the comedy and charm of the original cast. For the sequel, the three now must work together and the results are absurd and excellent. Again, small cameos are done well and add to the humour of the film from Lisa Kudrow’s straight talking Dean to Kelsey Grammer’s overly emotional father to Shelby. The only missed mark is in character Shelby. Grace Moretz is a great actress but she is awkward in this role. It is easy to believe her as strong and rebellious but the street smart attitude and gang sign references feel very over done for such a talented young actress.
The new additions of the sorority house match the crazed antics of the previous all male group and then some, proving once and for all that girls can be just as bad as the guys.
Bad Neighbours 2 is out on DVD and Blu-Ray now!