Director: Nicholas Stoller
Starring: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, Chloë Grace Moretz
After a sorority moves in next to Mac (Rogen) and Kelly (Byrne), they must enlist the help of old adversary Teddy (Efron) to keep them in check.
Now, I quite liked Bad Neighbours (or just Neighbours if you’re in America), and I haven’t exactly been crying out for a sequel, but alas here it is anyway; there’s a few new players but an ultimately very similar scenario.
There isn’t much to say about acting performances in a film like this, and we’ll soon get to the bad ones, but Rogen continues to do what he does, and having played the same character in almost every film he’s in, he’s pretty good at it now. The highlight for me is Rose Byrne, she has impeccable comic timing, and in a film which was lacking on the big laughs for me, she was a real breath of fresh air.
There’s a very entertaining sequence filmed at a tailgate party which was a highlight, and a pretty funny take on the airbag gag from the first film. However this film really lacked originality and is definitely not as funny as the first. So let’s get on with the bad points…
If the first Neighbours movie didn’t exist, this film would probably be passable, but Neighbours 2 has the unfortunate position of being the sequel, and so much of it is borrowed from the first movie that it struggles to leave its own mark.
There’s far too many examples of comedy sequels which wouldn’t be funny if it wasn’t for the original, most notably The Hangover and Anchorman. Of course the first Neighbours wasn’t up there with the aforementioned, but this almost entirely unnecessary sequel proves that sometimes things should just be left as they are.
The plot is almost exactly the same with a sorority replacing the fraternity, and old characters shoe-horned in. The jokes feel tired and rehashed, and whilst there’s a handful of funny moments, it fails to leave a lasting impression.
Perhaps the worst thing about this film for me were the haphazard attempts at a feminist and female empowerment subplot. It felt really out of place next to the gross-out humour, and just seemed like it was trying too hard.
Zac Efron seems to be continuing his trend of making poor film choices (looking at you Dirty Grandpa!), and whilst this is by no means his worst movie, he continues to dig himself into the “bro humour” pit which might be difficult to climb out of. Despite a promising start to her career, Moretz has had a bad stretch of films recently, and she really isn’t good in this film. Hopefully she’ll get some better work soon and get the chance to prove how good she can be.
I saw this movie so you don’t have to. By all means, if you enjoyed the first film, you might still enjoy this one, but ultimately this sequel is lazy and uninspired. Save your money and just watch the first one again instead.
Agree with everything I’ve said or am I a totally misguided idiot who has got it all wrong? Let me know in the comments below.