NEIGHBORS 2 : SORORITY RISING

Directed by: –Nicholas Stoller

Produced by: – Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg & James Weaver

Starring: – Seth Rogen, Zac Effron, Rose Bryne, Chloë Grace Moretz, Dave Franco, Ike Barinholtz
Run time: – 92 minutes (1hr 32mins)
Parenthood vs. Sisterhood
Neighbors (A.K.A Bad Neighbours outside North America) was a surprise comedy hit in 2014 featuring comic legend Seth Rogen & Zac Effron who showed the world he can be a comedy star. It ended up being a critical and box office success raking in  $270 million worldwide. So it was only a matter of time a sequel will be commissioned. 
This sequel picks up from the events of its predecessor. Mac (Seth Rogen) & Kelly (Rose Bryne) are getting ready to move from their house and are also preparing to welcome their second child into the world. They have sold their old home and purchased a new one, but have to wait through 30 days of escrow to make sure the sale is completed. All seems good until a new threat in the form of a sorority moves into town.
 
 

The comedy trio of  Zac Effron , Seth Rogen & Rose Byrne return in a surprisingly good sequel.

The comedy trio of Zac Effron , Seth Rogen & Rose Byrne return in a surprisingly good sequel.

The founder of the sorority named Kappa Nu is Shelby  (Chloë Grace Moretz), a freshman at the local college who is weary of the male dominated frat parties. She is also annoyed by the fact that it is illegal for sororities to throw parties in their own accommodation.  Shelby forms an alliance with a group of girls and gets mentored by Teddy Sanders (Zac Effron), who is struggling to figure out what he wants to do with his life. He also wants revenge on Mac and Kelly for the criminal record he got from the events of the first film. This forms a conflict between the adults who just want the girls to be invisible until the escrow is cleared and the sorority, who want to have the right to party.
 
Comedy sequels are notorious for being inferior to their originals.  A lot of the time they are unable to re-discover the magic of what made the first film hilarious and tend to tread familiar ground without offering anything new. Does Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising do enough to be in the class of comedy sequels that avoids this trap?
Girls just  wanna have fun !!

Girls just wanna have fun !!

PROS
  • Seth Rogen and Rose Bryne’s once again bless viewers with their comedic chemistry. They bounce off each other with great one-liners and jokes and I always got a laugh when they were scheming or trying to convince each other that they were good parents.
  • Zac Effron is once again a highlight of this movie. I never used to like the guy but I have to admit, it’s amazing how he has evolved from a heartthrob (High School Musical ), to a stud that possesses unbelievable comedy prowess.   Surprisingly his character Teddy is very relatable in this sequel as he is trying to find his place and worth in this world after college whilst his fraternity brethren are moving on with their lives, he is stuck in the past and is afraid to take the next step. This gives a dumb but charming character an unexpected amount of depth.
  • This sequel also reminds us why Effron and Rogen why make an incredible comedy duo. Once again they are effortlessly work well together and some of the best scenes in the film involve the duo working off each other providing even more laughs than you thought was possible.
  •  The film paces itself well. The jokes come out you at fairly consistent rate and the movie doesn’t slow down one bit.  A lot of the gags hit the nail on the head, which is something you want from a comedy. Even though some of the jokes are familiar they mix things up enough to make sure it isn’t repetitive.
  •  Neighbors 2 also contain some hilarious cameos from the stars like Kelsey Grammer (Fraser, X-Men: The Last Stand). Selena Gomez (Wizards of Waverly Place & The Spring Breakers) and Billy Eichner (Parks & Recreation & What Happens in Vegas) that will definitely get a laugh. I won’t spoil it for you but I promise you they will make you laugh.
  • The movie subtly hides a good message for women the underneath the loud, lewd and brash R-rated humour. Chloë Grace Moretz’s character and her group of friends starts the sorority row Kappa Nu, who parties as hard fraternities do in response to the facts that sororities are really not allowed to host parties, which is a surprisingly clever way of showing that women should fight for their rights and challenge the status quo. I appreciate the fact that they bring their own flavour to the movie and don’t completely emulate Delta Psi Beta (Effron’s Frat in the first film) that makes the movie a little fresh.
Zac Effron once again proves he possesses comedic chops.

Zac Effron once again proves he possesses comedic chops.

CONS
  • While I do find Seth Rogen hilarious; unfortunately he is once again essentially playing the same character like he does in every other movie he has appeared in so far ( The Interview, This is the End & Pineapple Express). Don’t expect anything new from him and if you are not particularly fond of Seth, this film is not groundbreaking enough to change your opinion.
  • This movie like most comedy sequels tread on familiar territory in terms of the plot and jokes only with a few minor details changed, so if you have seen the first film you pretty much know what is going to happen.
  • Chloë Grace Moretz and her crew fill in the hole that Zac Effron fraternity left admirably; it unfortunately doesn’t  match the exploits of Delta Psi Beta.  Kappa Nu doesn’t feel anywhere near as brash, loud or lewd as the fraternity and a part of me feels like it was a missed opportunity to up –the-ante.
  •  The conflict between the adults and sorority doesn’t feel as personal as the previous battle because they just want them out of the way for a few days whereas in the previous film they wanted to completely drive them out as the partying antics was severely affecting their peaceful lives.

 

The jokes  are thrown at a frantic pace.

The jokes are thrown at a frantic pace.

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising is a sequel that manages to wrangle a surprising amount of humor from a revisited premise with minor changes.  It does more than enough to escape the rank of redundant sequel but it doesn’t hold a candle to its original, though its certainly close.  You won’t be disappointed with this flick.

 
 
RATING: – WORTH A WATCH

Category: Hollywood, Reviews
Olisa Nwokedi
About The Author
- Olisa is an Aberystwyth University law graduate and Fordham University School of Law Masters graduate who was admitted into the Nigerian Bar in July 2016. He enjoys playing and watching rugby, writing, watching movies, playing video-games and Shark wrestling.......... that last part was fiction.