Back in the neighborhood this week from director Nicholas Stoller and Universal Pictures is another round with NEIGHBORS 2: Sorority Rising.
Life has been quiet since Teddy Sanders (Zac Efron) and the gang closed up the frat house next door to Mac Radner (Seth Rogen) and wife Kelly (Rose Byrne). Working on baby number #2, the Radner’s have decided to sell their home and move to a house of their dreams.
Before that can happen they need to close the deal on their home. Keeping focused they need to get through a thirty day escrow with no problems. Well, they didn’t count on Shelby (Chloe Grace Moretz), Beth (Kiersey Clemons) and Nora (Beanie Feldstein)! These three girls have had their fill of sorority’s who still won’t let them do what they want.
The idea is born to start a sorority of their own and guess which house they find to rent? While going through the house they meet Teddy who is in a bad way since being asked by his buddies Pete (Dave Franco) and Darren (John Early) to move out. Listening to the girls’ story, Teddy offers to be a mentor for the girls.
Immediately the parties begin! Mac and Kelly feel like they’ve stepped into a time machine. Asking the girls to keep it down until escrow closes; they are instantly met with resistance. When the girls turn on Teddy, he goes to the Radner’s offering his services to help rid them of the sorority.
The gauntlet has been thrown and both sides are in it deep.
Rogen as Mac once again questions his abilities as a father and a husband. Trying to keep everyone happy, Mac knows that the move will make everyone happy. The challenge of another group of partiers is more than he can take so trying anything, even accepting the help of Teddy, is worth it.
Byrne as Kelly is pregnant again and isn’t about to let a group of girls take away her dream home. The scene that is the funniest to me is when she and Rogen are comparing who is the worst parent because (barring the pot references) have had the same comparisons when my kids were little.
Efron as Teddy misses his college days and seems to be aimless in knowing what he is meant to do in life. Having the chance to party like his college days, it turns on him and helping the Radner’s gives him focus – and a place in the family. Efron is funny and once again gives the ladies something to cheer about.
Moretz as Shelby is a role I’m surprised she took. This actress has so much to offer and is so talented that playing a spoiled pot head who wants to party speaking like she doesn’t have a brain was just too much for me to take. Not a fan of her in this role at all.
Clemons and Feldstein are two other roles that I just didn’t understand. It was like watching two pre-teens giggle there way through ridiculous behaviors and attempting to play at being adults.
Other cast include Ike Barinholtz as Jimmy, Jerrod Carmichael as Garf, Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Scoonie, Cara Mamet as Maranda, and Selena Gomez as Phi Lamda President.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give NEIGHBORS 2: Sorority Rising three tubs of popcorn out of five. There are some very funny moments but after a while the jokes lost their luster. Personally I felt like the whole film was trying too hard to be as funny as the original. Because of that, many of the run on jokes just became a sigh of ‘can we get on with this?’
Of course there was nothing here that was a surprise – instead it was start to finish standard predictability. I wanted to laugh more than I did and be less disgusted than I was. The funny thing is that what was disgusting was not the dangling set of Efron or the continual talk about pot, nope; instead it was the racial jokes that seemed more like an offending test than trying to make anyone laugh.
NEIGHBORS 2 will find its audience but they need to be prepared because the super hero films aren’t done dominated the box office yet.
In the end – it is parenthood vs. sisterhood!