Sequels as a whole are pretty tricky to make a success but comedy sequels are arguably the hardest to pull off. Just as the original ‘Bad Neighbours’ was being released back in 2014 ’22 Jump Street’ was giving a masterclass in how to out do a comedy predecessor. Two years on can Seth Rogen and co pull off a similar feat and out do the very funny original film?
This is a question that I think will warrant quite a mixed response, personally I don’t think it quite out did the first film but it comes pretty close and is by no means a failure. The story is pretty much the exact same from the first film, however enough is done to make it plausible enough and to give this sequel it’s own identity whilst also staying firmly routed in many of the gags from a few years back. As long as the audience are laughing though does this really matter? I don’t think so and thankfully there are plenty of laughs to be had in this comedy. The gags featured here are of a similar tone to the first film so whatever your reaction to those will be a good indicator for you to know if you’ll enjoy this film. What I thought was so good about the first film was its mix of comedy and this sequel has a similar strength. There should be some kind of comedy that works for everyone here. Whether that be through slapstick, more vulgar moments, playing on popular culture or just a damn funny script even when some jokes don’t connect with you there are several just a few scenes away that will. One comment I do have about the comedy is that there should have been a greater focus on this element in the opening and closing of the film. There is a distinct lack of this and as a result the film kind of just fizzles in and out instead of opening with laughs and leaving the audience chuckling.
As far as I can remember the entire cast of the first film return here and they are just as funny. With Seth Rogen at the helm you know that he will put in a good comedic performance but for me it’s his on screen other half who was funniest. Rose Byrne is such a versatile actress but I think it’s her comedy that I may enjoy the most. Her character here is wonderfully funny and most of her lines had me laughing harder than any other characters. The chemistry that the pair have is great though, as unexpected as it may have been, like the first film they lead the sequel well. Zac Efron returns as frat party boy Teddy and at this rate I feel Efron’s roles are all just meshing into one, he’s quickly becoming the new Sean William-Scott. Despite his recent type-casting I have to say that the Neighbours franchise is his strongest in recent years and he plays his character well. Chloë Grace Moretz joins the cast this time round and does a good job, in all honesty there isn’t much to her character but the traits she does have are demonstrated well throughout her performance and she fits in well to the established cast. There are several other supporting characters, some from the original and some new who help to move the film along nicely too and once again contributing to the variety of comedy.
‘Bad Neighbours’ was a comedy which I rated highly, I had a blast with it but never really wanted a sequel. ‘Bad Neighbours 2’ has delivered again though and I’m glad they opted to continue the series. With such a variety of comedy and Rose Byrne knocking it out of the park once again the ninety minute running time flies by. More of a comedic punch at the start and end to the film would have made it a fiercer rival for the original but nonetheless ‘Bad Neighbours 2’ is a worthy sequel which is a laugh, probably the best of 2016 so far too. Oh and watch out for a genuine brain teaser about hot water, pasta and eggs. Mind blown.
Rating – 8/10
Question: What is your favourite comedy sequel?
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