Neighbours 2: Sorority Rising (AKA Bad Neighbours 2)
Dir: Nicholas Stoller
I quite enjoyed the original 2014 Neighbours as I thought it was a new take on the fraternity comedy that looked at things from both sides of the fence. I'm not sure a sequel was ever needed but when a film is relatively cheap to make and is marginally successful, a follow up film is inevitable. Fine, why not, it's not that bad either. This time around the Neighbours in question are a Sorority rather than a fraternity which means the structure of the film is pretty much the same but the jokes are different. It follows on from the rather sad last scene from the first film whereby Teddy (Zac Efron) realizes that collage is now over and the rest of his life, which he is woefully unprepared for, awaits. His friends have moved on and are successful and his best buddy is soon to be married. Teddy somehow stumbles across a group of female freshmen (led by Chloë Grace Moretz) who have decided to make a stand and ignore the usual Sorority codes and fraternity-lead traditions. Here is where the audience has its loyalties split, as the new Sorority opens in the same house as the fraternity of the first film, while Seth Rogan and Rose Byrne are trying to sell their house after conceiving their second child. When the girls get out of control, Teddy switches sides and tries to help his old foe force the Sorority out and the film becomes a copy of the first. The film is a little less crude than the first but it still has its moments where boundaries are pushed. Zac Efron actually steals the show here as his lovable character Teddy develops throughout the story. Cameos from actors who stared in the first film help carry the film along and there is a nice little appearance from Kelsey Grammer as Chloë Grace Moretz's dad but by and large it is a path well-trodden. I think the best thing about this unnecessary sequel is the challenging of stereotype and sexism in the collage system or at least how it is usually shown in Hollywood. Jokes are repeated but certainly improved upon, particularly the airbag scene. It's really nothing special but very watchable and hard not to like.