Hapless suburban parents Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne turn for help to their former frat-boy foe Zac Efron after a rowdy college sorority moves next door in Bad Neighbours 2, a disappointing sequel to 2014’s rollicking battle-of-the-generations comedy (opens in new tab).
The filmmakers have tried to give their original set-up an equal opportunities twist, with Chloë Grace Moretz’s feisty fresher, the couple’s new nemesis, striving to found a breakaway sorority where young women will be free to party on their own terms, unshackled by the boorishly sexist status quo.
'Raucous and unruly'
Inevitably, the sisters prove every bit as raucous and unruly as the frat boys when they begin occupying their predecessors’ former fraternity house. This places them next door, of course, to Rogen and Byrne’s Mac and Kelly and threatens to scupper the couple’s impending house sale.
Sadly, the sequel’s vaguely feminist slant fails to produce enough decent jokes to earn our goodwill. And it’s not just the gags about dildos and tampons that seem tired. So do the characters. Efron’s party-hearty Teddy was wickedly funny in the first film; here, Moretz’s headstrong quest for female empowerment doesn’t produce nearly as many laughs.
Certificate 15. Runtime 89n mins. Director Nicholas Stoller
Bad Neighbours 2 is available on Digital Download and is released on Blu-ray & DVD on 12 September, courtesy of Universal Pictures (UK).
A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.
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