Written By Ryan Hollen
In 2014, Neighbors was a surprise hit and one of the breakout comedies to come along in quite some time. I remember seeing it with friend’s multiple times in theaters and laughing like a child until my stomach hurt. When it had its release on DVD my roommate bought it and proceeded to play it on repeat and again, we would laugh again and again. The premise was simple: New parents buy a house and a fraternity moves in across the street – hilarity ensues.
So when Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising hit theaters I was first in line. The movie rehashes the old plot but with a new twist. Replacing the frat is a sorority and this time Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne are wanting to sell their house in favor buying a new one but are in escrow for 30 days. Joining Rogen and Byrne for the sequel are returning cast mates Zac Efron, Ike Barinholtz, Cara Gallo, and Dave Franco. Newcomers to the franchise include Chloe Grace Moretz (Kickass), Kiersey Clemons (Dope), and Beanie Feldstein.
One can argue that comedy, out of all genres of film, is the most subjective. We all have a different sense of what is funny. If you enjoyed the first film, chances are you are going to enjoy Neighbors 2. Without divulging into spoilers, the movie relies heavily on set pieces much like the first one. Neighbors introduced us to “The Airbag Gag” and “Baby Swallows Condom” and its sequel doesn’t disappoint. There is a scene in the movie where Rogen and Efron’s characters are trapped in a garage that will bring joy to those of the first flick. Another of one of my favorite bits involves the Sorority causing chaos when they get ahold of the main character’s phones (Wrong number, anyone?).
One could compare this film to The Hangover 2 and what I mean by that is The Hangover 2 is almost an exact rehash of The Hangover. The motto was basically “Do what the first one did but bigger!” but as most fans agree – The Hangover 2 was not good. Neighbors 2 takes what the first one did but amps it to 11. But it works. The additions of include Chloe Grace Moretz, Kiersey Clemons, and Beanie Feldstein work. They bring a new flavor to the film all the while providing the movie with a much needed underlying message for the female audience (And no, it’s not a feminist message shoved down our throats – it about friendship and not needing anyone else’s approval).
Overall, I enjoyed the movie. Though it looks as if the movie won’t be as big of a financial success as the first, I hope it finds life on DVD and VOD. It’s a rare case where a comedy sequel actually works – maybe even more than the first.