If you live in a flat so badly insulated that you can hear everything when your neighbours are watching 'Game of Thrones' on TV, you'll have zero sympathy for the noise problems suffered by Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne, back in ‘Bad Neighbours 2’ as the married couple with a kid living in a detached house the size of a Russian oligarch’s country pad. Last film around, a gang of party lovin’ frat boys moved into the house next-door. This time, it’s female students, who are sick of the sexist crap that goes down on campus and have started their own sorority, Kappa Nu.
So, out of nowhere, ‘Bad Neighbours 2’ turns out to be a gross-out comedy with a feminist streak. It’s like the film’s writers have spent the last two years reading Vagenda, Jezebel and a few hundred PhDs on gender identity (so no rape jokes this time around). And it just about works. Same as last time, Rogen and Byrne try to get down with the kids next door before all-out-war breaks out.
Some of the big set pieces fall flat and the bad-taste stuff is a little tired. But once again Zac Efron saves the day. He's the best thing about the film. In the original, he was the alpha-dude president of the fraternity. Now he takes on a mentor role to the sorority, instructing them on the art of partying. In return they teach him the ways of feminism: ‘Don’t call them hoes. That's not cool anymore,’ he tells his buddies. It’s gags like this that keep ‘Bad Neighbours 2’ just sharp enough, just smart enough and just funny enough.