Wednesday, 11 May 2016

'Bad Neighbours 2' Review

Comedy sequels are perhaps the biggest hits or misses in the movie industry. There have been some great ones with the likes of the 'Vacation' franchise- bar the latest- and the Monty Python films. Even recently, '22 Jump Street' proved that pulling off a sequel to a comedy can be done very well. Unfortunately for us, these are outdone by the amount of terrible sequels. The 'Dumb and Dumber To's and 'Evan Almighty's of the world leave a very bad taste when it comes to second instalments in comedy. Even more unfortunately for us is that 'Bad Neighbours 2' is in the pile of terrible ones.

We again follow Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) who have just sold their house- or so they think. They don't realise they are in escrow where they have a "30 day, don't fuck up" period where the buyers can pull out if they see something wrong with the home or in this case, neighbourhood. Trouble then arrives in Kappa Nu led by Chloe Grace Moretz's character Shelby who have a sole intention of partying and doing whatever they please. You'd expect this to be like the first one with crazy antics throughout. Instead it shows potential and then goes down with a wimper.

I enjoyed the first 'Bad Neighbours' and had quite a great time watching the film. Sadly the magic from the first was not apparent in the sequel. So many jokes within this film fell so short and were nowhere near the standard set by the first. This may be down to the fact that the rivalry between the neighbours was not nearly as good. The stakes seemed to be raised in the story but isn't carried through forward through in the comedy. There was an opportunity for this film to be bigger and better due to this but unfortunately, this was a opportunity that was missed.

The new face of fear for Mac and Kelly comes in the form of Shelby played by Chloe Grace Moretz. The character has so many inconsistencies throughout the movie whether it is from the way that the character acts. From acting like a non-sense taking character that she promised to be in the early stages, to becoming an indecisive and simply annoying character throughout the film. For me, she didn't carry the presence to pose a total threat to the potential movers. I feel like I'm saying this a lot but again this had potential. The way the character acted at first by being disgusted at what was happening and by doing whatever she wanted to was great and looked to be leading to something exciting. Unfortunately the character doesn't keep this up the whole way through and is only kept going by others bailing her out, including Kelly at one point.

The film takes female empowerment in its grasp and tries to use it as a driving force for these girls who don't like the conventional ways of college partying. Their 'everything is sexist' attitude becomes annoying and is used most of the time just as a petty excuse. There is a scene in this movie where it claims that it is sexist when Zac Efron's returning character Teddy says that Kappa Nu using used tampons was gross. This was one of the few times this was tried to be done but not to good effect. The film even does it terribly at times with the sorority blatantly using their sex appeal against their enemies, a point that seemed to move them away from the conventional parties. Again, this could have worked had it been done correctly with actual reasoning to them saying it. 

The returning characters certainly didn't help the film either. Teddy (Efron) is a mess throughout the film, feeling under appreciated wherever he goes leading to him switching allegiances. He is often mopey and down in his spirits throughout the film which doesn't allow him to excel comically nearly as well as he did in the first one. The jokes between Mac and Kelly are the same recycled jokes based on weed and their struggles to have sex in their new life with a child. They don't work as well and get old after a while. The film is really immature from start to finish and if you really enjoy that, you may get enjoyment from this one. I don't feel that the usually funny cast delivered to their full poential in this film. Even the short parts from the likes of  the returning Dave Franco and  Lisa Kudrow as well as Billy Eichner (Parks and Rec) didn't work as well as they really could have.

I actually did get enjoyment from returning characters Jimmy (Ike Barinholtz) and Paula (Carla Gallo). Jimmy's antics worked well for me including the use of his clown costume used throughout the film. The pairs antics were entertaining throughout the film and made it that little more enjoyable for me.

The film does try to recreate some of the best moments from the first one. The head to head antics are at times clever but there are some that don't have as good an effect. The ending in this film seems very lack lustre as we expect things to continue to build up to a boiling point where one finally gets the vital advantage over the other. Instead it ends incredibly peacefully leading to quite an anti climatic finish. This was disappointing as it failed to deliver a satisfying ending after sitting through a lower than average comedy.

An extra point added to this film. It is the first film that made me put my head in my hands due to it being bad. There is a scene where it switches up and tries to portray a black police officer as being unfairly brutal to white people. Absolutely terrible and I can't believe it was put into this film.

Final Verdict = 
One of my worst experiences this year at the cinema for me. I got very little enjoyment from this one finding it unfunny throughout the film. Same stick and not up to standard comedy led me to not get full enjoyment from this one. There was potential for this film to be good but unfortunately the execution just wasn't there.

So have you seen 'Bad Neighbours 2'? If so what did you think of it? I hope you enjoyed it more than I did as well. Once again thank you for reading my review, it is much appreciated!

By Angus McGregor


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