Synopsis: After a sorority moves in next door, which is even more debaucherous than the fraternity before it, Mac and Kelly have to ask for help from their former enemy, Teddy.
Release Date: May 20, 2016 MPAA Rating: PG-13
The first Neighbors was an unexpected surprise for a comedy, a story that relied heavily on lowest common denominator jokes but still had its heart in the right place and some insightful things to say about parenthood and the fraternity. Its follow-up, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, builds on that same concept, albeit with more commentary on the college fraternity/sorority system. Whereas the first film’s indictments of the frat system were a little on the nose, Neighbors 2 is surprisingly sharp with its takedowns of the way colleges treat female students. More importantly, it’s a pure comedic romp – a breezy 90 minutes that will have you laughing consistently while occasionally taking time for a little introspection.
On its face, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising has a very obvious premise. Instead of Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne’s characters living next to a fraternity house, they find themselves neighbors with a sorority. And it just so happens that the two woefully inept parents are attempting to sell their house, which seemingly becomes impossible with a rowdy house of young women next door.
However, these women are trying to buck the trends with their sorority. Neighbors 2 is as much an indictment of females in the actual college system as it is their representation in film, but done in a way that’s smart and adds back to the comedy. It is, at times, terrifyingly accurate, but everything is done with a great humor about it.
On the flip side, Rogen and Byrne’s characters play earnest parents unafraid to say the things we are all thinking. They’re the type of parents that are beaten down by raising a child, and would rather let their daughter carry a sex toy around than disappoint her.
And somewhere in the middle is Zac Efron, whose Teddy Sanders character continues to be an exaggerated version of what some think Efron to be. He’s the wild card in the Neighbors formula, and Efron relishes in the opportunity. The actor may not get enough credit for his comedic abilities, but Neighbors knows how to use him well.
With a strong cast, a fun spin on the initial concept, and a well-paced story, Neighbors 2 delivers everything you want out of a comedy sequel. It justifies its existence well and even outshines the original in some key ways. But most importantly, it delivers 90 minutes of consistent laughs that run the gamut from relatable parent humor to R-rated slapstick. For a summer distraction, you’d be hard pressed to find a comedy more successful than Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising.
When it comes to a film like Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, it’s easy to fall into the trap of repeating old jokes. Luckily, the sequel finds new ways to keep audiences laughing without retreading too much familiar ground. Yes, the initial concept has tons of similarities to the first film, but even then, Neighbors 2 finds clever ways to frame its jokes through a new lens. And when it does try to repeat the same jokes it does so with playful nods, not in a lazy, copy-and-paste fashion. Expect to laugh early and often in Neighbors 2, but be prepared, because the film more than earns its R-rating.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Nicolas Stoller
- Producer(s): Evan GoldbergSeth RogenJames Weaver
- Screenwriter(s): Andrew J. CohenBrendan O’BrienEvan Goldberg
- Cast: Chloë Grace Moretz (Shelby)Zac Efron (Teddy Sanders)Rose Byrne (Kelly Radner) Selena Gomez (Madison)Seth Rogen (Mac Radner)Dave Franco (Pete)Kiersey Clemons (Beth)Lisa Kudrow (Dean Carol Gladstone)Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Scoonie)Ike Barinholtz (Jimmy)Carla Gallo (Paula)Hannibal Buress (Officer Watkins)
- Editor(s): Zene Baker
- Cinematographer: Brandon Trost
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer: Leesa Evans
- Casting Director(s): Francine Maisler
- Music Score: Michael Andrews
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USA