Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising A Hysterically Memorable Comedy Sequel

Refreshing the college comedy a couple years back, Neighbors (2014) became a massive hit when it pitted the fraternity vs. the parents. The war which ensued was hysterical and touched on aspects of fraternal/college life and parenthood in its infancy. Zac Efron was the standout of the film, though Rose Byrne garnered a lot of the big laughter in the film, holding her own against the always funny Seth Rogen. The cast they had was terrific and their execution made this film one of the better comedies of late, so it’s no surprise that they would consider a sequel. Two-years later, here we are.

As Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) are preparing for a second child and moving into a new home, they’re put on escrow for 30 days in which things need to go perfectly at and around their home. As Shelby (Chloe Grace Moritz), Beth (Keasry Clemmons), and Nora (Beanie Feldstein) meander through fraternity parties and sorority life as freshmen in college, they decide they want to have the same rights as fraternities and move into the old Delta Psi house, where one Teddy (Zac Efron) helps them get started. As fate should have it, that house is right next to Mac and (Byrne) and a war between the two ensues.

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016)

No, Neighbors 2 isn’t just Neighbors with girls/sororities. To view it that way just makes you look foolish when you actually see the movie. More so than the first film, Sorority Rising tackles the sexism that so many colleges (and quite frankly lots of places in America) un/knowingly overlook, especially in the Greek system. The girls don’t feel safe going to other parties where they’re expected to dance with strangers, drink mysterious punch, and wear clothing that’s more revealing than what they’re comfortable with. While that’s not the case everywhere, that’s a serious issue that’s not uncommon with most girls. To them, starting their sorority is about having a place where they can throw the parties and have the control and act/dress exactly how they want to. It’s just unfortunately right next to Mac and Kelly.

As parents of a younger daughter and an unborn daughter, Byrne and Rogen capture the chaotic hilarity which accompanies raising a child. Between their banter and how they handle situations with other people, Byrne and Rogen offer some of the films best laughs and their chemistry only strengthens the aspect of honesty that this film has below the surface. They’re very real people, who have their own worries and problems, but understand that other people experience things as well. They’re not crotchety parents trying to ruin people’s fun, but they’re also trying to make sure they can sell their house to move to another. No one is really the bad guy in this film and because of that the hijinks are somewhat more enjoyable.

Managing to steal the show again, Zac Efron reprises his role as if he never stopped playing the character, affording a great deal of laughter with his comments and ideas. There are also very real, scared, and lonely aspects to Teddy in this film as he’s gotten older and while his friends are moving on to bigger and better things, he’s still modeling at Abercrombie. He wants to be of value somewhere to someone, so he’s straddling the fence as he works with both the sorority and Mac & Kelly. Efron again proves that he’s one of the more enjoyable actors out their working, as he brings more than a face to the screen.

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As was the case in the first film, Director Nicholas Stoller brings a lot of reality into these characters and their situations and seeing how the girls handle raising money and sabotaging Mac and Kelly is more inventive and amusing than some of what the guys had done in the first. The conflict between the two works really well as far as motives go, but everyone thinks more about each other’s views in this film and it makes for a great dynamic amid all the humor. They definitely poke fun at fraternity life and parties, but this film is more about the girls and discovering who they are and what they value. They’re on their own for the first time and the film touches on every characters disconnect from someone/something.

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising offers up a ton of laughter and relevant commentary in a brisk 90-minutes which goes by in no-time. They don’t waste any time in the film and there’s really no part where the film stalls or hits a wall. With great performances everywhere and new ways to cause trouble int he neighborhood, Neighbors 2 is one of the better comedy sequels, which is a rare and distinguished group. Make it a point to go see it as soon as you can!

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