"Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising" stars Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, and Chloe Grace Moretz. Released on May 20, 2016, the film has Mac and Kelly Radner teaming up with Teddy Sanders to shut down a sorority who moved in next door.
The film is directed by Nicholas Stoller, who also directed films such as Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greek, and The Five-Year Engagement. It is a sequel to the 2014 comedy film, Neighbors, also directed by Stoller. I thought Neighbors was a pretty decent comedy the first time I saw it two years ago. It's not the best comedy I've seen, but it does have its funny moments. Seeing that it got a sequel didn't really surprise me that much because most of the sequels get made in terms of box office and the audience's reception. Most of the people who saw this R-rated sequel already claimed that it was actually quite good, which gave me a reason to see this first rather than Angry Birds. That and I don't feel like sitting in the theater with a lot of noisy children. I'm sorry, I just don't. Anyway, I bet you're wondering what I thought of this film after watching it for the first time. Well, I got to be honest with you…..I was pretty disappointed.
Before I answer why, let's focus on a couple of parts that I happened to like because I love starting things off with the pros. While the performances from the cast weren't outstanding, they were pretty enjoyable. Rogen and Byrne had some good chemistry together like in the first film, Zac Efron once again proves that he likes doing R-rated films, and Grace Moretz was decent as Shelby, the leader and founder of a new sorority group known as Kappa Nu. I won't go into details why, but I can see her doing more movies like this. The comedy in this film had a couple of big laughs, but the rest of the humor only gave me mild chuckles (more on that later).
Now we get into the why. Let's start off with the story: It's similar to the first film's plot. A group of college people moved in and party hard, and the main characters became sick of it and decided to shut them down. There were a few differences, however. There were sorority girls instead of frat boys, Teddy is on Team Radner, the Radners are selling their house, and….that's it. Nothing else. It's pretty unoriginal and predictable, to say the least. It also has a pretty good message, but it gets drowned out by the amount of R-rated humor and a few instances of people yelling. Yes, I did laugh at a couple of scenes, but they weren't as strong as the first film's humor. I think the problem is that most filmmakers tend to use certain elements that worked in the first films and add them in to the sequels with some differences, mostly comedy sequels. However, those elements will likely drown out what really matters: creativity and heart. Also, the humor is a little bit more offensive at times, so it's pretty hard to impress those who are easily offended. Some of the pacing dragged at some points and the ending felt a bit longer than it should.
Overall, "Neighbors 2" should impress some people who are in a mood for some R-rated laughs, but in terms of its similar plot, some weak offensive humor, and the lack of heart, it's not the kind of neighborhood that I would revisit anytime soon. It had its moments, don't get me wrong, but I was disappointed that I didn't laugh as much as I thought I would. Out of all the "vs" films I've seen this year, including Captain America and Batman V Superman, this one is at its low point. Yep, you read that right. Captain America and Batman V Superman, two "vs" films about superheroes fighting each other, are better than a "vs" film that involves R-rated humor and sexy ladies. In my opinion, of course. Captain America is still on top with Batman V Superman close in second and Neighbors 2 in dead last. I guess if Rogen and the others were dressed as superheroes, then the film would be a bit better. It'll be ridiculous and embarrassing, but I'm pretty sure it would generate some more laughs than what I've seen. If you like the first Neighbors, you might or might not like this film. If you're easily offended, then it's not worth your time.