Se­quel proves a bet­ter Neigh­bours

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Film -

YOUNG bros seek­ing a drug and al­co­hol-fu­elled col­lege party film filled to the brim with bikini-clad jail­bait a la Project X may get a shock.

Less in­ter­ested in de­bauch­ery than it is about us­ing the plat­form for some so­cial com­men­tary on fem­i­nism, fe­male equal­ity and the role of women in com­edy films, Bad Neigh­bours 2 is a gen­uinely re­fresh­ing se­quel treat that left me on a cin­e­matic high.

The happy cou­ple from part one, Mac (Seth Ro­gen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) Rad­ner have en­joyed a peace­ful ex­is­tence since get­ting rid of the rowdy fra­ter­nity next door.

Now with an­other baby on the way, it is time for them to move on to a big­ger home.

Mean­while, three high school out­casts, led by Shelby (Chloë Grace Moretz) cre­ate their own soror­ity when they get to col­lege and re­alise only the boys can host par­ties and there is some prime real es­tate right next door to the Rad­ners that would be a great spot for some fundrais­ing shindigs.

The is­sue this time is that the Rad­ners’ prop­erty is in es­crow, which means the po­ten­tial buy- ers can pop by any time to in­spect the prop­erty, and they are un­likely to be keen on the young new neigh­bours next door.

They en­list the help of their former enemy Teddy San­ders (Zac Efron), who is hav­ing trou- ble find­ing his pur­pose in life.

De­ter­mined to make the gen- der flip more than a gim­mick and thinly veiled ex­cuse for round 2, the five cred­ited writ­ers have taken the op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore what it ac­tu­ally means to mix it up, gen­der-wise; which is that the girls can be and are just as funny and cheeky as the boys.

The script chal­lenges gen­der stereo­types (the hunky, pop­u­lar Teddy is now strug­gling in the real world and the girls en­joy con­tra­band), never judges the en­gage­ment of a gay cou­ple or em­ploys it for laughs and all with­out feel­ing like a lec­ture.

An added bonus is that dudes and bros may even learn some­thing about re­spect­ing women.

You don’t get that from too many com­edy se­quels.

Ab fab: Zac Efron and Seth Ro­gen.

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