Bad Neighbours 2 review: The comedy sequel surprises with an inventive script, a cast having the time of their lives and side-splitting laughs throughout.
The sequel to the surprise 2014 hit hits U.K. cinemas on May 6th. Read our Bad Neighbours 2 review below.
In 2014, a film named Bad Neighbours, or simply Neighbors if you reside in the North American territories, captivated audiences around the world. The Seth Rogen and Zac Efron-led comedy grossed a whopping $270 million around the world – from an estimated $18 million budget, and it even managed to win over some critics in the process. It’s no surprise that a sequel was given the greenlight, but one does have to think; where would a second movie take us? Does it have legs for a second outing? Can Zac Efron really come back from the fallout of January’s Dirty Grandpa?
The action picks up a couple of years after the events of the first movie, which revolved around a rowdy fraternity headed by Zac Efron’s Teddy Sanders, which moves in next door to new parents Mac (Seth Rogen), Kelly (Rose Byrne) and their newborn baby. Bad Neighbours 2, or Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising if you’re Stateside, follows a similar route, only this time we discover that thirty-somethings Mac and Kelly are looking to move out of the old neighbourhood to a much bigger house in suburbia – after all, they are expecting a patter of tiny feet for a second time… They have managed to sell their house, but, there are thirty days to wait while it sits in escrow, where the buyer can pull out at any time. As they await the contracts to be signed, a group of young girls, headed by freshman Shelby (Chloe Grace Moretz), move in to the big house next door, intent on setting up their own sorority so that they can party just how they want to, and not be exploited by the meat-market frat houses on campus. When they realise what the girls have in store, both Mac and Kelly, along with best mates Jimmy (Ike Barinholtz) and Paula (Carla Gallo), as well as old enemy Teddy, declare war in order to ensure that their house completes without any hiccups.
The plot of Bad Neighbours 2 is relatively thin, if not very similar to its predecessor, but like the first movie, is absolutely hilarious from the off. What it manages to do is execute its comedy with an almost unique style. It is progressive in approach with many gay and feminist jokes contained within, but instead of being the target, the subjects are very much the opposite, which is very refreshing. The addition of Moretz’s sorority carries with it a message, very different from the first one, even if the structure remains the same.
All of the main characters from the original are back, some fleetingly so – like Dave Franco‘s scene-stealing Pete, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse‘s Scoonie, who goes uncredited. There are a few cameos scattered throughout, all which seem a little mis-placed, but it is the main cast we’re paying to see, and it is great to be in the company of Rogen, Byrne and Efron’s company once again. Their chemistry and watchable qualities are present once again, and Efron is back on form, and in darned good shape, after a few career mishaps in the last twelve months (though we actually did like We Are Your Friends, though we suspect we’re in the minority there).
Bad Neighbours 2 isn’t ground breaking in the slightest, but for a mainstream comedy, it features a very impressive, inventive screenplay, brilliantly executed by Nicholas Stoller, his creative team and his very funny cast. Genuinely one of the better comedies of the year so far, even if it seemed to run out of steam towards the end, but by that point you’ve been laughing so much, you won’t care one teeny bit.
Bad Neighbours 2 review by Paul Heath, May 2016.
Bad Neighbours 2 is released in the UK on May 6th, 2016, and in the U.S. on May 20th.