Sorority row

Bad Neighbours 2 in “not-wholly-crap” shocker.

***

Title: Bad Neighbours 2
Cert: 16

Ask yourself this – how do you feel about a recurring gag based around an infant playing with a sex toy? If the answer is “not entirely rosy” then perhaps you should give Bad Neighbours 2 (or Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising as it is bizarrely being called in the US) a wide berth.

Nicholas Stoller’s follow-up to the ultra-boorish 2014 US frat-house caper keeps its taste levels deep in the gutter, for sure, but if you are not too prudish and don’t mind a bit of low-down dirty fun then there is just about enough here to drag it over the line. Just.

Seth Rogan and Rose Byrne return as Mac and Kelly who are expecting their second child amid an environment of chaotic but ultimately loving domestic bliss. They run into Teddy (Zac Efron), their former frat-house nemesis who is squatting next door after being gently ejected from his brother’s pad. Teddy is now mentoring a sorority called Kappa Nu led by Shelby (Chloe Grace Moretz) who plan to use admission fees to pay the rent on this little kingdom of women’s lib and weed smoking. A disagreement leads to Teddy joining forces with Mac and Kelly, who want an end to the noisy escapades as they try to sell their house. It’s on, as the kids say.

Bad Neighbours 2 is an uneven fiasco, with jokes either missing their targets woefully or else sweeping you away in their outright silliness and cartoonish abandon. Everyone looks to be having fun, at times more so than the viewer, and lots of excuses are found for Efron to remove his T-shirt. Within the first five minutes, vomit, faeces and electronic members have been brought to bear so, once again, those with a mild constitution have been warned.

3/5

First published in the Sunday Independent

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Published by

Hilary A White

Dublin-based arts journalist and reviewer, specialising in film, books, music and human-interest stories. Sunday Independent / Irish Independent / State.ie / RTE Radio 1 / Today FM

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