Saturday, May 21, 2016

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising - Review

   Comedy sequels have been historically bad. Everyone knows this and yet they are still released on an almost yearly basis. The comedy becomes, most of the time, repetitive and often feels stale, using the same or similar comedic beats to the first. Luckily there may be another film to add to the list of good comedies and that is Neighbors 2.

   For Mac Radner (Seth Rogen) and newly pregnant wife Kelly (Rose Byrne), life is good. That is until a group of unruly sorority girl’s move in next door. The loud parties and general hijinks threaten the couple’s sale of their home, so they turn to a former enemy and ex-neighbor for help, Teddy Sanders (Zac Efron). Now a united front, the trio devise schemes to rid themselves of the wild sorority, but unfortunately for them, the girls won’t go down without a fight.

   The storyline here, like in most comedies, is just a situation in place for more comedy. It’s no different here, but at least with this sequel the story comes to a place with a small lesson about friendship. The setting and situations are different enough from the original to not be terribly familiar and the film succeeds in showing the differences in how girls and guys handle situations. Unlike the first movie though, where the fraternity and the couple both had their own ideals and it was very personal, the sequel makes it really dangerous for the couple’s financial situation, drawing hatred for sorority and the enemy outright, not something that really works.

   There is no doubt that Seth Rogen is hilarious, no one needs to debate this fact and he’s still just as funny here. The real conversation needs to be about Zac Efron. The actor, once plagued with being the romantic interest, has stepped into the comedic role of Teddy Sanders brilliantly. He has such timing as the dim-witted Teddy and really adds to the film. However as great as Efron is, Chloë Grace Moretz, as the leader of the sorority Kappa Nu, never truly finds her foothold in this movie. Part of the problem is her character’s sort of obnoxious tendencies and motivations, but her jokes never really hit either.

   While the comedy in the first film was gut busting at times, the sequel, while funny, doesn’t hit the highs that it’s predecessor hit. There are moments that are noticeably funnier because of the actors themselves and giving it a boost simply because of their comedic chops. The rivalry between the sorority and the couple isn’t nearly as entertaining as it was with the far more endearing and enjoyable fraternity. The girls often come off as evil rather than a group of kids who want to keep their house.

   Overall Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising is a good sequel, not great, but just passable enough to not join the ranks of awful comedies. The actors boost the comedy in many ways and the chemistry between Efron and Rogen works well here again. Some jokes miss along the way and it’s not as laugh out loud funny as before, but Neighbors 2 brings enough laughs that it’s worth seeing. (7.0/10)

So what did you think of Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising? Have you seen it and how does it compare to the original? How does it compare to other comedy sequels? Sound off below and don't forget to subscribe, share and return to I Am Sam for weekly reviews and insight.

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