Wednesday 18 May 2016

Bad Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising ... Sexual warfare

SOME people would have had bad experiences with noisy and inconsiderate neighbours. I know of a
man who tortured his neighbours for four months while renovating his house. His workers' incessant drilling forced his neighbours to flee their house during the day and to return only when the workers left in the evening.
   I believe this is why people can relate to director Nicholas Stoller's Bad Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, the sequel to his Bad Neighbors (2014).  The humour is as raucous and bawdy as the first film's, but there are two themes in this sequel that will touch viewers.

    However, there are also moments of gross humour that will make you cringe.
   In the first film, Mac Radner (producer Seth Rogen) and his delectable wife Kelly (Rose Byrne) had to use their wits to subdue rude college student neighbour Teddy Sanders (sinewy Zac Efron).
  In the sequel, the Radners have bought another house and are in the process of selling off their present home, but they unwittingly allow the buyers to place an escrow on it, meaning the buyers have 30 days to confirm the agreement.
   To make things interesting, three female first-year college students move into the house next to them, which used to house the fraternity that Teddy belonged to.
Selena Gomez and Co put their best chest forward.
   Shelby (Chloë Grace Moretz), Beth (Kiersey Clemons) and Nora (Beanie Feldstein) decide to form a sorority after finding out from a Selena Gomez lookalike (Selena Gomez) that only fraternities can organise parties.
  The three are also prompted to do that after finding out that they are disgusted by the overflow of sexual antics at their first fraternity party.
  This is the film's first theme, which is about empowering women to make their own choices and stand up for their rights, and also for their right to party.
  The trio end up next to the Radners, and with Teddy's advice, organise fund-raising parties that raise the hairs of the Radners.
   It's enjoyable to watch the sorority and the Radners figure out creative ways to bring down the other side. But even Teddy is shocked at how far the sorority will go to raise money for the rent.
  Viewers know that he switches sides and helps the Radners to tackle the sorority.
  The second theme of this film is about unemployed Terry feeling distraught at the prospect of losing his best friend Pete (Dave Franco), who's going to marry his boyfriend. This sets of a chain of events, with Terry asked to leave his home and moving into his former frat house, now occupied by the sorority.
A hands-on experience.
   The Sorority Rising in the film's title refers to the group coming to terms with its power. Shelby, the leader, forms the sorority because she was alone and not part of any group before going to college.
  Rogen imbues his Mac character with his usual brand of crass humour.
  I appreciate the film's female empowerment message, as it serves as a terrific reminder to them that they should be comfortable in their own skins and don't have to bow to others.
  This is seen when the sorority goes to ludicrous lengths to raise money, even to the extent of reneging on its ideals.
  However, the film may have kicked itself in the arse when Teddy strips to his shorts and wiggles his bon bon and treasured chest, much to the delight of the screaming sorority members.
Chloë Grace Moretz welcomes you.
   While Teddy may have succeeded in distracting the women, what does this have to say about female empowerment? The founding members were turned off by the overt sexualisation in a frat party, so I find their screaming at the top of their lungs at the sight of a toned Teddy contradictory.
   Rogen, one of the five co-writers of the film, enjoys shocking viewers, but even he may gone too far by having a running joke about the Radners' infant girl playing with a dildo.
   I found the film likable and laughed out loud a few times, even if the gross-out scenes become tedious after awhile.

3 out of 5 stars


1 comment:

  1. Did the Malaysia cinema censor any part of this movie?