Movie Review: Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

Updated on May 18, 2016
Copyright: Universal Pictures
Copyright: Universal Pictures

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

Release Date: 5/20/2016

Studio: Universal Pictures

Running Time: 92 minutes

MPAA Rating: R for crude sexual content including brief graphic nudity, language throughout, drug use and teen partying.

Director: Nicholas Stoller

Writers: Andrew J. Cohen, Evan Goldberg, Brendan O'Brien, Seth Rogen, Nicholas Stoller

Cast: Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, Chloë Grace Moretz, Dave Franco, Ike Barinholtz


Copyright: Universal Pictures
Copyright: Universal Pictures

Review

It isn't easy being a comedy sequel. For every 22 Jump Street, there are 5 Horrible Bosses 2's. In 2014's Neighbors, a newlywed family (Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne) was pitted against the fraternity next door (led by Zac Efron). The movie was a big hit, making $270 million at the worldwide box office on a budget of $18 million. A witty comedy that mixed raunchy humor with insights about transitioning from college to adulthood, Neighbors deserved its success. Exactly two years after the hit movie opened, a sequel bringing director Nicholas Stoller and the cast back has landed with Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising.

Copyright: Universal Pictures
Copyright: Universal Pictures

Mac (Rogen) and Kelly (Byrne) are preparing to sell their home and move into a bigger one to support their second daughter on the way. Meanwhile, defeated former neighbor, ex-frat leader Teddy (Efron), is having a tough time finding his place in the world after the previous movie. He can't get a job due to his criminal record, and his former fraternity brothers are all moving on. His best friend and roommate, Pete (Dave Franco), becomes engaged to his boyfriend and asks Teddy to move out. What is poor, homeless, going through a "quarter-life crisis" Teddy to do?

Copyright: Universal Pictures
Copyright: Universal Pictures

Enter freshman sorority girl Shelby (Chloë Grace Moretz) and her friends Beth (Kiersey Clemons) and Nora (Beanie Feldstein). Uncomfortable with the sexist rules that sororities can't have parties, but fraternities can, the girls pool their money together to start their own - in the vacated house next to Mac and Kelly. Teddy agrees to be the girls' mentor to get revenge against his former neighbors, whose home is under a 30-day escrow. If the new tenants see that a sorority lives next door, then they won't buy the house. After Shelby and her sorority sisters kick Teddy out for being "too old," he teams up with Mac and Kelly to get rid of another noisy set of neighbors.

Copyright: Universal Pictures
Copyright: Universal Pictures

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising hits many of the same plot beats as its predecessor, trading a fraternity for a sorority. All of the actors from the earlier film return, from Mac and Kelly's best friends Jimmy (Ike Barinholtz) and Paula (Carla Gallo) to the briefly-seen Dean Carol Gladstone (Lisa Kudrow). But familiarity is not a burden like it was for The Hangover Part II. The crew is aware of what made the first movie a hit, and they find a way to allow us to spend more time with the characters while carefully avoiding a sense of déjà vu. By inverting the genders of the rowdy neighbors, Neighbors 2 touches upon 21st-century feminism and the bond of female friendships. Shelby and her friends start a sorority so that they can engage in the same behavior that the "rapey" fraternities do: drugs, booze and non-stop partying (activities verboten at the campus sorority, led by Selena Gomez in a cameo). In a peculiar choice, however, little light is shed upon the Adonis-like Teddy living in a house full of teenage girls (in one of the sequel's funniest scenes, he joins the others girls in sobbing at The Fault in Our Stars on "movie night").

Copyright: Universal Pictures
Copyright: Universal Pictures

Neighbors 2 is as good as the first Neighbors. The movies are similar but not so much that the sequel feels like a Xerox copy. Rogen, Byrne, and Efron go knee-deep in the antics again, and Moretz displays a better knack for comedy than she has in previous movies. Like its predecessor, Neighbors 2 tosses plenty of crude jokes at the audience (Mac and Kelly allow their 2-year-old daughter to play with a pink dildo by dressing it as a princess) but doesn't forget that the characters are people too. Why can't all raunchy comedies be this intelligent?

Trailer

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://reelrundown.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)