A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
Directed By: Nicholas Stoller
Written By: Andrew J. Cohen, Brendan O’Brien, Nicholas Stoller
Produced By: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, James Weaver
Starring: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, Chloë Grace Moretz
Running Time: 92 Minutes
Zac Efron is a tough sell. There, it’s been said. Choosing cheap and formulaic roles that don’t allow him to show off his actual acting abilities in any capacity whatsoever, the sight of Efron has become one that warrants a deep huff, or at least a overly generous “meh”. It’s then quite strange to think that leaving Bad Neighbours 2, many thoughts regarding the film were positively about Efron’s efforts and comedic aptitude.
Although the film inherently nonsensical and reliant on ridiculous base-level humour, one can’t help but find themselves chuckling at the infectious amount of fun it appears the cast are having over the 90 minute runtime. It was a comedy sequel that nobody asked for, yet Bad Neighbours 2 is silly and ridiculous enough to not only work on its own, but surpass the original.
As the title suggests, Bad Neighbours 2 returns to the couple of Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly Radner (Rose Byrne) as their life post-nightmarish-fraternity has taken on a slightly maturer tone. With their firstborn proving enough of a demand and with another on the way, Mac and Kelly decide to sell their house and escape from suburbia.
The only factor in their way is a thirty day waiting period in which pending buyers can inspect the house and the neighbourhood in great detail. This isn’t a problem for the couple, until a sorority, lead by Chloë Grace Moretz’ Shelby, moves in next door.
Following the news of the Radner’s new neighbours, the pair try their best to keep the young and exuberant girls at bay, however they know without the help of someone who is familiar with the inner workings of a college party house, they’re fighting a losing battle.
The foundation of the Bad Neighbours films has been to dynamic between young and old. There’s a dichotomy of sorts at play, exposing the stark contrasts in the demographics and bringing them to the forefront; however what the films have both managed to explore is the suburban symbiosis and the relatable qualities that stem from it. Everyone has or has had bad neighbours, and although the films go overboard with their characters and antics, the tension and conflicts are nearly all the same in any form.
At it’s core, Bad Neighbours 2, like the original, has a solid, believable narrative, and the additional gags and escapades that ensue are just a bonus.
The cast, as previously mentioned, are obviously having a wonderful time as it shows in their performances. Seth Rogen once again brings his loveable, stoner-bear-like charm to the table, whilst Rose Byrne shows off her seriously impressive comedic skills. Embracing the Australian accent once again and being crude, innocent, blokey and even hilariously fiery, Byrne is an absolute standout; more of this is always welcome.
Zac Efron emerges the other side of the film with praiseworthy and gallant supporting efforts as he returns as Teddy, who is facing a difficult period in his life and must chose what is right and what should be left in the past.
The film is ultimately about moving on and experiencing new things, which could be seen in almost every character, however Efron brings something new and investible to Teddy, which in doing so, earns him some sizeable respect.
As far as comedy sequels go, Bad Neighbours 2 could be worth your time if you enjoyed the first, or even tolerated it. Characters are a maturer but don’t lose their endearing ignorance, whilst newcomers prove to be serviceable, but nothing overly special in the long run.
Although the plot doesn’t make all that much sense, it’s an enjoyable ninety minutes with genuine humour and some general ridiculousness that sometimes is exactly what you need to unwind.