By Jack Dignan
You've seen Bad Neighbours (or, simply, Neighbors as it's titled in most countries), now get ready for..... Bad Neighbours.... again.... Except with girls.... Yeah, there's nothing new here. Continuing the trait of most comedy sequels, Bad Neighbours 2: Sorority Rising is a direct rip off of the first film, but while some sequels manage to make that work, incorporating fresh and original humour and bringing us back to hang with our favourite characters some more, Bad Neighbours 2 doesn't quite achieve that. In fact, it's very far off from achieving it.
Picking up a few years after the last movie, Mac (Seth Rogen), Kelly (Rose Byrne) and their infant daughter have just sold their house, but what they didn't realise was that the buyers have a 30 day inspection trial period to make sure they like it. They have 30 days to make sure nothing goes wrong, but soon a sorority house moves in next door, led by the party loving Shelby (Chloë Grace Moretz). Once again, it's neighbour vs. neighbour, but things become too much for Mac and Kelly, and so they enlist the help of former neighbour, Teddy (Zac Efron), who agrees to help them take down the sorority.
One of the most surprising aspects of the first Bad Neighbours movie was how well directed it was. Nicholas Stoller, who also directed Get Him to the Greek and Forgetting Sarah Marshal, returns to the director's chair, bringing to this film a tonne of energy, even though his direction and comedic timing can't really save this film from feeling familiar. He knows how to make a well made comedy, both Bad Neighbours films have proven that, but this time around, the material he's given isn't quite up to speed.
This film, without a doubt, has an excellent cast. Seth Rogen is a man I love to pieces, and I will watch anything with Rose Byrne in it. Zac Efron I feel as though has a lot of potential, and when he's in good films, such as the first Bad Neighbours, he's great. The problem is, he's in too many bad movies, and Bad Neighbours 2 isn't going to be added to the list of his good films. As for Chloë Grace Moretz, she can go from starring in a masterpiece to a piece of shit real fast, and while I'll give this credit for being better than The Fifth Wave, she once again stars in a movie that wastes her acting potential.
I will give this film credit for at least trying to be different, changing the frat house to a sorority house and dealing with the topic of sexism, but that doesn't change the fact that it's just not that funny. I will admit, there are moments that had me laughing out loud. This film, on multiple occasions, can be rather hilarious, but for every hilarious moment, there's both a terrible moment and an awkward moment. Some of the humour just doesn't work in the slightest, making this film drag on and on and on. I checked my watch in this movie. I should not be checking my watch in a comedy. I should be busy laughing.
To sum up, Bad Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising has moments of comedy gold, mixed in between the cast's likability and director's energetic approach, but it can't save this film from being remarkably average, rehashing the entire plot of the first film but with weaker jokes.
2 1/2 Stars