Review: ‘Neighbors 2 Sorority Rising’ is Crude, Predictable Laughter
“Neighbors 2” brings back the lewd laughs but swaps gender.
Fans of the first film know what to expect from the Zac Efron and Seth Rogen comedy duo, but can they keep the laughs going by introducing some new blood? Instead of a fraternity being the root of the problem, “Neighbors 2” flips the switch bringing young women into the mix with a newly formed sorority. Chloe Moretz leads this group of girls in rebelling against the sorority rule of no partying by moving in next door to Mac (Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) for the freedom to party nonstop. But while the parties and cast may be bigger, was “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” a worthy successor?
Cinematics (Cinematography, Acting, Story, etc.) – 2
In terms of plot, “Neighbors 2” is a bit diluted. It simplistically supplements the story from the first film and also reuses many elements inside and outside of the plot providing us with practically a carbon copy. The only real differences from the first and second film are the motives of the protagonists and antagonists. Instead of the Radners trying to keep things quiet for their baby, in this sequel they’re trying to sell their house which proves to be difficult with the sorority next door. The sorority poses the same threat as Teddy’s fraternity from the first film, but the only difference is the feminine touch added to the pranks (watch and you’ll see what I mean). Everything else from the reactions, to the characters, to the setting has remained entirely the same. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the shots for this sequel were extra footage from the first film.
The characters themselves are what really drives this film. This time around there’s a bit more bonding between Teddy and Mac which was a welcomed experience. Their bond from the first film was sometimes more humorous than the pranks and the bond truly flourished in “Neighbors 2.” With all of the original cast joining forces, the laughs seemed to be balanced in their direction making the newcomers like Chloe Moretz and Kiersey Clemon seem a bit stale at times. We get a lot of the chemistry we’d expect from the cast we know but these newcomers do not fit well into the mix. Some may attribute this to the rehashed plot but unfortunately I think it was due to Moretz’s performance. Things just seemed forced for her character. Moretz seemed out of place in the role and it was distracting even for a slapstick comedy like this. She’s a very talented actress but this role just didn’t suit her.
Overall “Neighbors 2” is a simple film just like the first one. Like most sequels it fails to surpass the first film but it does have value outside of cinematic quality. Just like many other comedies, this is a sequel with a bigger budget but the same type of laughs.
Entertainment Value – 3.5
Even though this film may be a simple, regurgitated slapstick comedy, it knows how to bring on the laughs. The laughs might not be creatively executed or original ideas but there is a plethora of humor nonetheless. There is also a comedic juxtaposition created between Zac Efron and Seth Rogen that somehow manages to work in this franchise. They may be polar opposites on the surface but they still manage to find common ground when it comes to humor.
In addition to the “bromance” between Rogen and Efron, the shock value from the antics have been taken up a notch. Whether I was laughing or feeling nauseous, these elements created a memorable, fun experience in the end.
Re-Watchability – 3
This isn’t a great film nor is it a quality film but it is a fun film. “Neighbors 2” will be on my watch list in the future for sure but it’s going to be one of those films to share laughter with friends. I won’t be seeing it multiple times in theaters but I’ll definitely catch it again when it comes out on digital release.
- Entertainment Value
"Neighbors 2" is an arguably unnecessary comedic sequel but still manages to bring out the laughs. The laughter may not be as big as it was in the first film but if you enjoyed the original, you'll probably be able to overlook the flaws and leave the theater happy.
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