Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have proven to be some of the most creative comedians of today. They certainly surprised everyone with their film This is The End, and have delivered a slew of original and hilarious comedies ranging from Superbad to Pineapple Express and even Neighbors. The first Neighbors film proved to be one heck of a good time, bringing the party-like movies back into the spotlight. The success of that film provoked the making of a sequel Neighbors 2: Soririty Rising, which is essentially a rehashing of the original plot, but it nevertheless wrenches a handful of laughs from you.
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising revisits the couple Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) as they prepare move to a new house. They seem to have closed a deal to sell their old house, but there is still a 30-day period known as an escrow, where the buyers can still back out if they see anything wrong with the property. Mac and Kelly don’t see this as a problem, the house next door is no longer owned by the fraternity from the first film. However, as the fates will have it, a sorority led by Shelby (Chloë Grace Moretz), Beth (Kiersey Clemons), and Nora (Beanie Feldstein) move in with the plans of forming a sorority with the right to party (in the US sororities are not allowed to host parties, they have to go to fraternity parties instead). Mac and Kelly panic, but luckily their enemy in the first film: Teddy (Zac Efron) returns and agrees to help Mac and Kelly shut the sorority down.
The story is at most lazy; they basically recycled the first film and simply changed the genders of the partying neighbors. In terms of dialogue however, the script swings with no mercy or filter, and this causes for some big laughs, but some risky jokes cross the line a bit too carelessly. I enjoyed how the film took on a more feministic approach, but without seeming too preachy or on the nose; it was certainly unexpected coming from a creative team known for their male-centered comedies. Essentially the film is structured as roadmap to funny situations; the actual progression of a story or of the characters lacks the effort seen in the first film.
And we have to talk about Zac Efron. The young actor has transitioned from being an annoying Disney Channel star to a solid comedic actor. I mentioned this in my review of the first film, but I think that now we can safely confirm that he has potential to become a great comedic star, his chemistry with all his on screen stars and his comedic delivery was exceptional.
In the end, Neighbors 2 is a fun time; you will laugh more than once, but you shouldn’t go into the film expecting anything fresh or original. Regardless, as far as comedy sequels go, this one is pretty good.