Director: Nicolas Stoller
Cast Headliners : Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, Chloe Grace Moretz
Original Release Date : May 20th, 2016
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising is a movie that sets about to do what it appears to be and little else. In this sequel to the first Neighbors film from 2014, Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) Radner find themselves needing to keep their act together with a house sale and new baby on the way. They find themselves in a loose alliance with their old rival fratboy Teddy Sanders (Zac Efron) after his life goes through some flips to confront the wild new sorority Kappa Nu led by Shelby (Chloe Grace Moretz), Beth (Kiersey Clemons), and Nora (Beanie Feldstein) who have moved next door. Cue thin plot premise for ranging amount of gags and jokes ahead.
Like the first film, and much of the other work Rogen gets himself involved in, the movie leans towards extreme, crude , edgy, and grossout oftentimes. This can lead to some very funny scenes, especially when involving Rogen’s Mac, Byrne’s Kelly, or the multiple allegiances (it gets a bit messy) of Efron’s Teddy. Another decently standout member is Ike Barinholtz as their friend Jimmy, seen most memorably in a clown outfit when they attempt to go undercover at a tailgate. The rest of the supporting cast goes through only brief, sometimes humorous sometimes dumb appearances, such as the original frat boys of Pete(Dave Franco), Scoonie(Christopher Mintz Plasse) and Garf(Jerrod Carmichael) or Officer Watkins(Hannibal Buress) who amount to momentary cameos for fans, that being a loose word for this “franchise.”
A large emphasis and perspective is of course placed on the titular sorority and Shelb/Beth/Nora. Moretz is a ok lead, attempting perhaps to cash in on the shock of seeing her innocent appearance do edgy things from her time in the Kick-Ass movies but it can only go so far before coming off as slightly annoying. Likewise with Clemons and Feldstein (younger sister of actor Jonah Hill, obviously inspired by his past work), who don’t have the best material to work with. But there are some occasions in the insanity where they are alright.
The movie moves at a perhaps too fast inane pace, like the first, and also like that goes for a lot of physical gags including some variations on the airbags. But perhaps it’s a stronger plotline here tying it all together that makes for an improved sequel. There are even specks of deeper slightly dramatic stuff going on here handled better than the first film. The movie offers lots of edgy “boys vs girls, young vs old” comedic warfare with some crude writing and dumb ideas at times but its target audience should get just about what they want through a alright way to kill some hours and laugh. 7.3 out of 10