Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising – 3 out of 5
Neighbors was one of those comedies that was a pleasant surprise for me. I didn’t have high expectations going into it but, in the end, I had a lot of fun watching it and realized that Zac Efron is a lot more than what I had previously thought him to be and that he’s actually a really funny guy. When I saw the trailers for Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, my expectations were a little higher than they were for the first one. Does this sequel live up to its predecessor or is this just one of those examples where a sequel never really needed to happen?
|These two just can't win when it comes to neighbors.|
|In the next movie, the socially awkward geeks who|
never left their dorms move in next door.
(And yes, this review has two jokes about potential
neighbors for a third film)
After successfully defeating the fraternity that once lived next door to them, Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly Radner (Rose Byrne) have their sights set on making their family bigger and moving to a new home. All they have to do is wait a month for the potential buyers to be comfortable with the perspective purchase and they are home free (pun not intended). However, when a trio of college girls; Shelby (Chloë Grace Moretz), Beth (Kiersey Clemons) and Nora (Beanie Feldstein), moves in next door and decide that they are going to form their own sorority so they can throw parties, it puts the Radner’s plan into jeopardy—especially when it is revealed that former arch-nemesis Teddy Sanders (Zac Efron) helped convince the girls to move into that particular house. But when the girls turn their back on Teddy, he teams with the Radners to shut the sorority house down and a new war of the neighbors begins.
|Part of the war involves Rogen's character going to Australia.|
A totally real looking and in no way poorly green screened Australia.
Neighbors 2 is a decent follow-up to the previous film and it offers enough charm and hilarious moments to make it an entertaining watch. There is the hazard present that the story feels like it is retreading familiar ground but that’s pretty standard stuff in the world of sequels. However, the film does have a problem with feeling rushed. The story and plot move very rapidly and doesn’t have the comparatively methodical approach to the neighborly war that the first film had. Basically, the moment the sorority ladies move in, the war goes from zero to eleven in what feels like a heartbeat. It made the entire feature feel very short despite it being a respectable 90 minute movie.
|Look at those abs...on Rogen!|
When it concerns the cast, the returning players all still have that great chemistry they had in the first film. This is especially evident in Rogen and Efron because the scenes they share are absolutely hysterical. Ultimately, though, the new players didn’t really seem like that momentous of an addition. For some reason Selena Gomez is in the film despite only having about 3 minutes of screen time and the 3 actresses who play the main sorority ladies all come off a bit awkward. Moretz and Clemons never look truly comfortable in their roles and although Feldstein has some funny moments here and there she mostly comes off like she is trying too hard to get the laugh.
|Her one of two scenes. So...worth it?|
|One great moment: Billy Eichner as the realtor.|
As far as comedy sequels are concerned, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising does have some short comings and doesn't quite stand on the same level as its predecessor. However, it's not without its fair share of moments. Sadly, the film does tend to feel a tad on the forgettable side and like it's something fun and entertaining to watch in the moment and not something I will probably come back to again in the future. With that in mind, however, when this film is working and firing on all cylinders it is a lot of fun and you can't beat the comedy produced by Rogen, Efron, Byrne and Ike Barinholtz.