Bad Neighbours 2

Mark Tam fills us in on the Bad Neighbours sequel. Is it an improvement, or does it just fall flat?

16th May 2016

Seth Rogen, Zac Efron and Rose Byrne are back in the sequel of the 2014 comedy, Bad Neighbours. After finding much success in the frat-house based comedy, the memorable parent duo of Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly Rander(Rose Byrne) are brought along with former fraternity leader Teddy Sanders (Zac Efron) to face off against a new sorority led by a college freshman Shelby, played by Chloe Grace Moretz.

While it is known that sequels normally don’t match up to the strengths of the original film, Bad Neighbours 2 proves itself to be better than its predecessor. Newfound comedy blended in with the twist on the fraternity sub-genre allows the film to bring in much more significant depth and message than what the original film aimed to do.

The audience is immediately brought in to the reality of real estate as the oblivious and reckless nature of the protagonist parent duo. Mac and Kelly are subjected to an escrow, which is a financial limbo where they have to last 30 days without the buyers of their old home backing out. It provides a hilarious ongoing theme throughout the film as the whole situation was the result of the parents’ lack of understanding and carelessness of what an escrow is.

"It brings the audience to a new perspective as neither side of the argument is at fault or divided in the hero versus villain"

Of course, a problem arises to for Mac and Kelly. A newly-founded sorority moves in and presents itself as an unwanted and troubling nuisance that would definitely caused the buyers to back out. However, there is more to the sorority than meets the eye. The foundation of the sorority is a notable one as its founder, a college freshman Shelby, created Kappa Nu as a means to defy the “system” that has not allowed sororities in the United States to party. The sorority serves as a solution to equal their social standing as only fraternities are allowed to host parties and the sorority members that go to such parties are subjected to sexist inappropriate party games.

It brings the audience to a new perspective that in terms of conflict, neither side of the argument is usually at fault or divided in the black and white perspective of hero versus villain. Unlike the first movie, where the fraternity presented itself as an antagonist towards a young developing family, Bad Neighbours 2 replaces the fraternity with a fresh element of an equality-motivated group of young women that are devoted to not allowing themselves to be burdened by the flaws of the “system”.

This issue encourages the rest of the film to bring in sharper and funnier commentary on the gender disparity as well as secondary jokes focusing on the age difference with Seth Rogen’s Mac, Zac Efron’s Teddy and the rest of the sorority. It’s a well-worn type of comedy, but Bad Neighbours 2 manages to cover new and (most importantly) very funny ground.

While the sequel obviously follows a similar pattern to the first film, Bad Neighbours 2 delivers key self-awareness as it pokes fun on its characters and their development such as the bromance between Teddy and Mac and evolves into a more defining movie with a message pertaining to strengthening relationships.

Rating: 8/10

More like this: National Lampoon's Animal House (1978)

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