Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016)
Directed by Nicholas Stoller
Written by Andrew Jay Cohen, Brendan O’Brien, Nicholas Stoller, Seth Rogen, and Evan Goldberg
What do college student consider to be old? The answer is pretty simple, anyone who has graduated college and is no longer in school gets lumped into that category and is deemed an official adult. In the comedy sequel, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, once again the battle between college-aged kids and adults ensues and delivers on every humorous level imaginable. In the first film, the loving thirty-something couple Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) were just trying to establish themselves in their new home with their baby, but all hell broke loose when they realized they were living next to one of the wildest fraternities on campus.
In the sequel, the bros have moved out and life is peaceful and calm, who are now expecting their second child and are having fun raising their toddler Stella (Ella and Zoey Vargas). They have decided to upgrade and already purchased a brand new home in a different neighborhood and have just sold their home to a young couple with a baby. What Mac and Kelly never paid attention to, was the term escrow, now that the home is sold, it is in escrow and the new couple has 30 days to make inspections and check if anything is wrong with the home before going through with the deal. They quickly become stressed and paranoid, but hope and pray that all should be okay in the next 30 days, what could go wrong?
On the other side of town, the frat boys of yesteryear are now full-fledged (sort of) real life adults. They have all moved on to careers, Pete (Dave Franco) is now an architect, Garf (Jerrod Carmichael) is a cop, Scoonie (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) created an app that has made him tons of money, and the infamous Teddy Sanders (Zac Efron) is still, record scratches, working at Abercrombie and Fitch. Yes, Teddy now has a criminal record, due to last year’s shenanigans and can’t keep down a real job. He feels like his life has no value, no one appreciates him, not even his best friend Pete, so he decides to move out and is left alone with not much to do.
On campus, freshman girls Shelby (Chloe Grace Mertz), Beth (Kiersey Clemons), and Nora (Beanie Feldstein) realize that they don’t fit into the typical sorority scene. For one, sororities are not allowed to throw parties, only frats can, and all the parties that they do attend are like meat-markets, where the women are on parade for horny frat boys. The girls decide to start their own sorority, Kappa Nu, there’s just one thing they need, a sorority house. They decide to move in next door to Mac and Kelly and what starts to feel like a bad reoccurring dream, happens all over again. Except this time around, the girls do not mess around, remember girls are smarter than boys, and they cannot be led astray so easily with the lure of a hot chick.
With nothing, but time on his hands, the girls enlist the help of Teddy, almost haphazardly as he was sitting in his old frat house being sad, and he shows them the ropes of running a sorority. Teddy doesn’t know much, but he does know how to do one thing right, and that is throwing parties. He helps the girls raise money, get pledges, and of course how to make Mac and Kelly completely miserable. What ensues from there is complete chaos and fun.
I thought the movie was fun to watch and it made me laugh from beginning to end. Rogen and Byrne delivered with their spot-on jokes and their take on marriage and being a thirty-something. I also loved their best friends Jimmy (Ike Barinholtz) and Paula (Carla Gallo) who are also expecting a child, and their humor only adds to the film. Honestly Barinholtz is one of the best aspects of the film, his comedic delivery is spot on and he plays off Rogen perfectly.
Efron was surprisingly really good, I like that he is willing to poke fun at himself and make fun of his sculpted body and pretty face. That doesn’t sound like it would be necessarily funny, but his abs are like their own character in the film. He also knows how to play sweet and charming, and gave Teddy some emotion.
I liked the fact that the girls in the sorority weren’t made to wear sexy outfits, instead these girls wore whatever they want and threw parties they thought were cool. Donning hoodies and sneakers and just being themselves and having fun. What I didn’t like was how many of the girls in the sorority specifically Mertz felt the need make their voices overtly high, it sounded like they were trying really hard to be valley girls. Aside from that, Mertz, Clemons, and Feldstein played well against each other and made for a good rag-tag crew of outsiders trying to fend for themselves in the cutthroat world of college partying. I also loved how they thought Teddy was just an old guy because to them he basically is an old dude.
I think if you enjoyed the first, then you will definitely enjoy this one. It delivered on all points of comedy and there wasn’t a moment where I felt bored or where the film felt awkward, which can sometimes happen with sequels. This is a perfect movie for a fun filled date night or a movie with friends, either way it will not disappoint.
(Insert pic of Zac Efron shirtless for no particular reason at all. See above.)
Also posted on Pink Egg Media