Sunday, 12 June 2016

Bad Neighbours 2 (2016)


Bigger, Badder, Bloodier

Director: Nicholas Stoller
Running Time: 92 Minutes
Starring: Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, Chloë Grace Mortez, Ike Barinholtz, Carla Gallo, Kiersey Clemons, Beanie Feldstein, Dave Franco


As Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) sell their house in preparation for their second child, the house next-door is rented out to a debaucherous female sorority, Kappa Nu. The head is Shelby (Chloë Grace Mortez), whose goal is to allow college girls a place to have the fun the sexist rulings don't already allow them to.

The basis for the plot, with different rulings for sororities and fraternities, may not go over as well for those unfamiliar with these social organisations. But the aims of Shelby and her friends are clear and relatable, to have the fun experiences one comes across in college, without the inherent misogyny lording over them. This attribute helps the picture to overcome the worry of being a retread of the first picture.

This aspect also leads into the films greatest strength, as it casts a light on the double standards and misogyny often found in comedy. One scene has used tampons being thrown at a window, resulting in the girls initially being chastised for this decision. Shelby hits back with a truthful double standard, how if it was something penis related thrown, it would have been deemed as humorous.

Seth Rogen and Zac Efron manages to bring the laughs and heart, with the latter struggling to move out of the nostalgic college days, and into adulthood. It's a bit disconcerting how Rose Byrne and Carla Gallo are sidelined by the characters dual pregnancies, but they still manage to deliver on the laughs.

As the head of her sorority, Chloë Grace Mortez proves talented as Shelby, a young woman who just wants for her and her friends to enjoy the college experience, without falling victim to unfair rulings. For all the dangers that Shelby will merely be a mouthpiece for gender equality or prove unlikable, Moretz provides the heart to make Shelby somebody viewers can sympathize for.

As the opening scene of Kelly vomiting on Mac mid-coitus shows, the film can often go for the easy, crude gags. In spite of this, the overall humour manages to one-up the hit and miss nature of its predecessor. This can stem from the great chemistry shared between cast members, or the sight gags which come off as more accomplished,. There's also one unexpected Holocaust joke that's in bad taste, but proves to be VERY funny.

Considering the law of diminishing returns often to applies to comedy films, it's refreshing to see a sequel that delivers more of the laughs, along with relevant commentary. In short, Bad Neighbours 2 is a success that leaves you with food for thought about boiling water.

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