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UK: Bad Neighbours 2. US: Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (AF)

8/10

Stars: Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, ChloŽ Grace Moretz, Ike Barinholtz, Kiersey Clemons, Beanie Feldstein, Carla Gallo, Dave Franco, Liz Cackowski, Billy Eichner, Selena Gomez, Kelsey Grammer, Lisa Kudrow, Sam Richardson, Jerrod Carmichael, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Hannibal Buress, Brian Husky, Awkwafina, Elise Vargas, Zoey Vargas.

Director: Nicholas Stoller

The sequel strikes back and in the worst possible taste.

And if you thought 2014¬ís Bad Neighbours was lewd, crude and in truly bad taste then, in the legendary words of Al Jolson back in 1927, ¬ďYou ain¬ít heard nothing yet!¬Ē

Director Nicholas Stoller and returning stars Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne and Zac Efron in a second tsunami of regrettably coarse comedy, sexual innuendo, slapstick and foul language that sets a new high in low comedy, shtick and silly slapstick.

This time around Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O’Brien, the writers of the the original film, along with Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Stoller, sensibly stick with the basic theme.

This time around Rogen and Byrne are expecting as second child and decide to move house. They sell their home, but there’s a catch. They have 30 days in escrow during which the buyers can change their minds and abort the sale without penalty.

It’s not long before their nightmare begins when, once again, they are faced with losing their sale, thanks to the rowdy-sex-and-alcohol crazed antics of their new next-door neighbours.

Last time around, their tormentors were the members of a filthy fraternity house.

Now (presumably in accord with current sexual equality context), their lives and the chance of a new home are being noisily ruined by the members of a self-appointed, self-invented college female fraternity who have taken over the frat house next door and are determined to raise hell.

And they do.

And only the women’s one-time advisor Zac Efron, along with some help from their best friends, can save Rogen and Byrne…

The keynote of the lunatic proceedings is essentially frequently regrettably filthy humour, ranging from a baby who possesses a large pink dildo as a plaything and sexual gags, wild alcohol-fuelled slapstick and the ladies stealing dope and then selling it at a fair, only to have the men steal their stash¬Ö

Comically committed hazing horrors are endemic, along with lashings of bad language (a pillow is emblazoned with ¬ďCarpe that f****** diem!¬Ē) and general low taste physical and verbal comedy that could well have caused the monochrome Three Stooges to blush in glorious Technicolor.

The key performances are in line with the material, with Rogen, Byrne and Efron in fine form, coming across with all the subtlety and seriousness the material, smartly stirred by director Stoller, demands.

(Efron, too, is just what was needed (fortunately he does not appear to have inherited any acting tricks from his Bad Grandpa costar Robert De Niro who, attempting comedy, was less subtle and rather less funny than a prostate examination).

Chlo√ę Grace Moretz, (perhaps best remembered for her foul language in Kick Ass) works hard as the leader of the lecherous ladies but, while adequate enough, seems to have gone off the boil following the ill-fated The 5th Wave.

The film brings low comedy to a new but regrettably funny low.

I laughed a lot. I admit it. And I apologise too.

If you want ¬Ďart¬í, forget it. But should you fancy a series of easy stress-easing laughs, they¬íre there for you in an audience-aimed rather than a reviewer-aimed show.

(And, for fans of Friends, Lisa Kudrow, the most talented member of that TV series, makes a brief appearance as a college dean).

Alan Frank

USA 2016. UK Distributor: Universal. Colour by efilm.
92 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 2, Swearing 3.

Review date: 07 May 2016