Bad Neighbours 2
Fun, feminist sequel reteaming Zac Efron, Rose Byrne and Seth Rogen
If you scroll through a list of stoner comedies you’ll come across plenty of brazenly daft adventures featuring boys getting up to all kinds of antics. It’s only recently that this trend is beginning to be bucked, with the arrival of shows like Broad City (whose co-creator Abbi Jacobson appears in this film) paving the way for girls wanting to have some fun. And just as The To Do List irreverently approached how teenage girls really feel about sex Bad Neighbours 2 highlights the prevalence and absurdity of sexism in a hilarious way.
Madison (Selena Gomez) and her sorority sisters are introduced prancing around like little angelic figures to the bemusement of prospective pledge Shelby (Chloë Grace Moretz, having the best time). When they explain to the new group of recruits that it’s against the rules for a sorority to throw a booze-fuelled party but fraternities can do what they like the incoming generation are outraged by the revelation.
Soon Shelby and a couple of other feminist renegades have set up their own independent sorority, creating a bacchanalian utopia where they can get drunk, smoke weed and watch The Fault in Our Stars sans judgement. Unfortunately, they just so happen to have rented the same place where Teddy (Zac Efron) reigned havoc over the Radners (Rose Byrne and Seth Rogen) in the original. The Radners are now in the final stages of selling their house and want the sorority out sharpish, while Teddy – who is going through a sulky, Billy Hicks from St Elmo’s Fire phase – is on hand to offer the girls advice. When they turn on him, Teddy teams up with the Radners and ignites a drug war between the two factions.
The comedic timing from the cast, particularly Byrne and Efron, is spot on, as is the empowering message to young women that hits a similar beat to the egalitarian world imagined in Magic Mike XXL. Meanwhile, the team of (male) writers – which includes Rogen and returning director Nicholas Stoller – ensure that a good time is had by all, with gross-out gags and slapstick galore creating a manic energy that will leave you wanting to dance the funk elastic.
General release from Fri 6 May.