Neigh­bours tread fa­mil­iar funny ground

The Tribune (NZ) - - MOVIES - STEVE NE­WALL

In 2014’s sur­pris­ingly sidesplit­ting Bad Neigh­bours, Seth Ro­gen and Rose Byrne found par­ent­hood at odds with the life­style of the frat house next door.

Since then, a gen­er­a­tion gap has emerged, one which even sees the cou­ple’s for­mer neme­sis Zac Efron con­sid­ered one of the ‘‘old peo­ple’’ by the young soror­ity set­ting up shop on the prop­erty he once lorded over. That’s some­thing that speaks to the swift cy­cles of col­lege turnover, and al­lows the se­quel to fo­cus on the rights of young women to party hard – but safe from aw­ful dudes.

While es­sen­tially a re­tread of the first film, the ad­di­tion of a fe­male skew, led by Chloe Grace Moretz, of­fers some­thing new, and this de­pic­tion of young col­lege women who like to have a good time is a mil­lion miles away from the ex­cesses of Spring Break­ers. Still, if you’re ex­pect­ing most jokes not to come from Seth Ro­gen be­ing fat and lik­ing weed, Rose Byrne say­ing un­ex­pected filth, or Zac Efron act­ing su­per­dumb, you’ve come to the wrong place.

For­tu­nately, all the above still pro­vide suf­fi­cient comic mileage to make it through a wel­comely-eco­nom­i­cal 92-minute run­ning time. The belly laugh quota may not be as high as Bad Neigh­bours, but there are plenty of chuck­les to be had amid the seem­ingly ef­fort­less chem­istry of the cast. Sim­i­larly the an­ar­chic, out-of­con­trol na­ture of the orig­i­nal can’t quite be re­cap­tured, and again the short num­ber of years be­tween films feels much greater – Bad Neigh­bours 2 com­ing across al­most nos­tal­gic at times, as if it’s for the younger gen­er­a­tion rep­re­sented by Moretz.

You’re not likely to get drug jokes, slap­stick, an adult toy-lov­ing tod­dler and pos­i­tive gen­der at­ti­tudes in any other aboveav­er­age com­edy se­quel though.

The se­quel fo­cuses on the rights of young women to party hard – but safe from aw­ful dudes.

The belly laugh quota may not be as high as Bad Neigh­bours, but there are plenty of chuck­les to be had amid the seem­ingly ef­fort­less chem­istry of the cast in Bad Neigh­bours 2.

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