Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising
review by Bobby Blakey
After the surprise hit of Neighbors in 2014 it came as no surprise that they would move forward on a sequel whether it needed it or not. Now the gang is all back together for Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising including Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, Ike Barinholtz, Kiersey Clemons, Dave Franco, Jerrod Carmichael, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and Hannibal Burress as well as some new additions including Chloe Grace Moretz, Beanie Feldstein, and Selena Gomez, but does it offer up more of the same fun and gross out humor or will it not be worth the enrollment fee?
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising follows Mac and Kelly who are on the verge of selling their home and having to wait thirty days in escrow, but when their new next-door neighbors turn out to be a sorority even more debaucherous than the fraternity previously living there they must bring in Teddy to bring the girls down. Anytime they make a sequel to a film like this that really didn’t need one you know there is a major chance for it to be hit or miss. This one is a bit of a mix bag depending on your fandom of those involved. The girls next door are far less of a threat than the guys in the first film which makes some of their confrontations a bit harder to swallow. The story works fine as it points out the absurd separation rules between sororities and fraternities that make no sense, but are there nonetheless. They use this confrontation to kind of force a lot of the returning cast into the script where they didn’t really need to be. With the exception of Rogen, Efron and Byrne the rest of the original cast are really just small cameos that work, but could have easily been left out had they not been important to Efron’s character. The confusing part of his attitude this time around is that the first ended like they might be somewhat friends now, but here he seems to still be initially angry like the final moments of the first film never happened.
Despite this strange direction of the story much of the film focuses more on the sorority led by a foul mouthed Moretz who fully embraces continuing to step out of her child actor position. Not too many of the girls really stood out besides her with the exception of Beanie Feldstein who is the real life sister of Jonah Hill. She has some of the funniest moments from their group and will no doubt have a hilarious career in front of her as well. Much like the last film Rogen and Byrne are toned down but still get some fun moments along with a running gag involving a dildo and their baby which is funny at first, but then leaves you wondering why no one seems to care. There are jokes a plenty here that will entertain, but a lot of it may feel more like you have already seen it which you have in the first film. They do manage to evolve the characters a little bit using the story arcs from this film and last in hopes to make them feel like more than they are and it’s this part that makes the film work better than it might have otherwise.
In the end this film is exactly what you expect from seeing the trailers. The first film did not need a sequel, but fans got one anyway and while it doesn’t offer up a whole lot new from the first film it does manage to entertain and those hardcore Rogen and Efron fans will no doubt have a great time. If you loved the first one than check this one out and just know that it is more of the same from before.