Bad Neighbours 2: Sorority Rising is, for anyone who’s been under a rock since 2014, the sequel to that year’s comedy Bad Neighbours, which was called, simply, “Neighbors“, in the US, but they clearly figured that people from the UK might confuse it with the Australian soap opera of the same name (except for the ‘U’ being added). This fate never befell the final John Belushi movie from 1981, as that came into existence four years before the residents of Ramsay Street appeared on our screens, direct from the fictional Australian suburb of Erinsborough.
In addition, most US comedies of late have ended up having an ‘Unrated’ version debuting on Blu-ray three months later (i.e. they just shove an extra few minutes in to sell more copies), so that’s one reason why I didn’t go to the cinema to see this sequel, especially since Bad Neighbours followed this trend. So, I was very surprised to learn this doesn’t exist in an extended form. However, on watching it, 93 minutes is clearly more than enough.
The plot is simple. Teddy (Zac Efron) has long since grown up and moved away, but now Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne – is it the law that they all have to have five-letter real surnames?) have a girl’s frat house rising up next door, led by Shelby (Chloë Grace Moretz), while Kelly thinks she’s pregnant with her and Mac’s second child. Who can tame this new force? The old one – Teddy, who has his own reasons for returning to his old haunt.
Shelby misses out on Selena Gomez‘s Phi Lambda chapter, but realises there’s no point being in their sorority anyway, because you can’t have parties, so she starts her own rowdy house, which just happens to be next door to Mac and Kelly, and that’s going to rather screw up their chance to sell their house.
Unfortunately, it only has a few laughs – including Mac saying how he sometimes needs to poo twice (is it an age thing?), and, while the first film was just average, this one is a disappointing sequel, running out of steam before it should and then just going through the motions in the third act, including recycling the airbag gags (and several times in the deleted scenes).
Of course, the biggest joke is how it took five scriptwriters to make such a below-average film.
Oddly, the ‘Nora going through the windscreen’ scene is done without being in slomo. The whole point of that was to show her double-flipping the bird at Mac as she flew past him, through the screen and into the road – as shown in the trailer, so why do it in regular speed in the movie? It just doesn’t work, especially if you’re expecting something different.
The film is presented in its original 2.35:1 theatrical ratio and in 1080p high definition, and looks as flawless as you’d expect a modern release to do. For the record, I’m watching on a Panasonic 50″ Plasma screen with a Samsung BDP1500 player.
Audio-wise, it’s not a SFX movie, but the music pumps in the party scenes, and it does everything without issue.
The extras are as follows. It’s fairly standard for this sort of film, but it’s good to get a number of bits and pieces to go with the movie, when some studios wouldn’t have bothered:
- Deleted and Extended Scenes (24:14): Twelve here, but none that need to go back into the final film other than, perhaps, the extended version of the scene when Shelby tries to steal Mac and Kelly’s phones.
- Gag Reel (4:24): Bloopers and the like.
- Line-o-rama (4:48): Five minutes of scenes mixed together to create some sort of narrative. There’s some new footage and outtakes in this segment, too.
- Nu Neighbours (8:09): A standard ‘making-of’ featurettte with film clips mixed in with chat from the cast and crew. The mention of an idea where the Kappa Nu house would’ve been ‘Dormopolis’, with eight levels of eight different parties, sounds like a much better idea than what we did get.
- The Prodigal Bros Return (5:01): Zac Efron, Dave Franco and other lads talking about coming back for the sequel. Standard featurette fare.
- Girls Rule (6:14): The female equivalent of the last featurette.
- The Ultimate Tailgate (5:09): Here, tailgating refers to crazy action sequences, not complete arseholes who get right up your backside when you’re driving.
- Audio description: Does exactly what it says on the tin.
- Audio commentary: Director/co-writer Nicholas Stoller and producer James Weaver.
Universal usually tend to go the extra mile with chapters, and there’s 20, here, which satisfies me as it fulfills my preferred average of one every five minutes. Subtitles in English only, while the menu is a typical odd affair from Universal. A static shot of the three leads plus Chloe, while a random piece of music chunters away in the background, and all the menu options aren’t given titles. It’s also another of those discs which disables the PS4 D-pad when trying to rewind/fast-forward the film.
(click on the picture for the full-size image!)
Running time: 93 minutes
Studio: Universal Pictures
Released: September 12th 2016
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Producer: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen and James Weaver
Screenplay: Andrew Jay Cohen, Brendan O’Brien, Nicholas Stoller, Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen
Music: Michael Andrews
Mac Radner: Seth Rogen
Teddy Sanders: Zac Efron
Kelly Radner: Rose Byrne
Shelby: Chloë Grace Moretz
Jimmy: Ike Barinholtz
Beth: Kiersey Clemons
Pete: Dave Franco
Garf: Jerrod Carmichael
Scoonie: Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Nora: Beanie Feldstein
Maranda: Clara Mamet
Phi Lamda President: Selena Gomez
Officer Watkins: Hannibal Buress
Stella: Elise Vargas
Stella: Zoey Vargas
Paula: Carla Gallo
Darren: John Early
Frat President: Johnny Pemberton
R.A.: Kyle Mooney
Dean Carol Gladstone: Lisa Kudrow
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.