The Summer movie season is in full swing now (speaking of which, you can read my summer movie preview here) and one of the first big comedies of this year has arrived, the highly anticipated follow-up to 2013's hilarious Bad Neighbours, Bad Neighbours 2. Here's my review.

Picking up two years after the first film left off, Kelly (Rose Byrne) and Mac (Seth Rogen)'s daughter is now growing up and the pair are looking to move into a bigger house, seeing as they're also expecting their second child. When they get some prospective buyers, their house then enters a 30 day period of escrow, from which the buyers can pull out at any time if they wanted to - as the realtor simply puts it, it's basically a "30 day don't-fuck-up-clock". All things seem well and trouble-free until the one thing they dreaded more than the fraternity from the first film moves in right next door: a sorority. Headed by the wild and rambunctious Shelby (ChloĆ« Grace Moretz), the young girls throw all sorts of crazy, out-of-control parties the way they want to - outside the judgement and comparisons to their male-fraternity counterparts. When they begin to threaten Mac and Kelly's property from being sold, the thirty-somethings couple enlist the help of their old foe Teddy (Zac Efron) to bring the not-innocent sorority down.
I really enjoyed the first film; I'd even go to the extent of saying I loved it. The film is certainly one of the standout comedies from within the past few years for me; it was well-made, well-acted and utterly hilarious. However, what I really admired about Bad Neighbours - what put it above the rest - was how original and fresh it was. The premise was unique and simple, albeit if flawed, but it worked and it made for a truly outrageous and thoroughly fresh, enjoyable and wickedly funny comedy. Bad Neighbours 2 - or Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising for our friends across the pond in the States - on the other hand, scraps the originality that lent itself so well to its predecessor for a more tried-and-tested method - re-telling its own story just with a bit of a twist. But then again, "if ain't broke, don't fix it" and that's perhaps the approach that returning director Nicholas Stoller took with this. After all, this isn't exactly a film striving for 'original screenplay' at the Oscars; the purpose of this film is to make us laugh and, on that front, it delivers in spades.

Bad Neighbours 2 is hilarious, firing on all cylinders with the jokes, that barely let up from the offset - a hilarious, gross-out visual gag kicks things off during the opening credits. The same raunchy, rude and crude humour that made the first film so great is back and as hard-hitting and hilarious as ever. The dialogue is so witty and wonderful and the banter and improvosation between our lead actors is so great and entertaining and funny to watch - the veritable chemistry between our cast only adds to their on-screen dynamic which adds to our investment in their characters and the jokes. It's also fairly refreshing to see the usual homophobic and sexist jokes that these comedies thrive on turned on their head; there's a lot of strong feminism in this picture as Stoller empores our female characters and subverts steroetypes and Dave Franco's returning Pete - in a small, welcomed cameo - has even tied the knot with his boyfriend. It's so atypical and great to see such aspects of modern society within such a film, subverting expectations and conventions.
The acting is solid too. Moretz makes a great addition to the cast, as do Beanie Feldstein and Kiersey Clemons and everyone else. Rogen, Byrne and Efron are as terrific as they were in the original - the latter, more jacked and ripped than before too. The chemistry between the cast is so great and only adds to the levity and the investment in the proceedings. The characters aren't the most well-realised and fleshed out - a lot of the sorority members aside from Moretz, Clemons and Feldstein are pretty thin and one-dimensional - but there's enough for us to invest in them somewhat. The film affectionately and jokingly pokes fun at the concept of youth vs age, with Kelly and Mac still trying to salvage what's left of their former, youthful, party-animal selves every so often but failing miserably. Yet, despite the fact that most of the audience will fall into the youth bracket, with ages closer to that of Moretz and co. you can't help but relate to the older folk and notice just how chaotic and disruptive we can be at our age. It makes for some fun viewing. Because, if nothing else, Bad Neighbours 2 is fun. It's not a unique or overwhelming film but it is hilarious and fun and an entertaining sequel, nonetheless.

Bad Neighbours 2 packs even more crazy antics and gut-busting humour than before, in what is a delightful, massively fun, if not too overwhelming or unique, sequel.

About the Author

Awais Irfan
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.

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