14A) Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising
14A for Coarse Language, Sexual Content, Substance Abuse
Running Time: 93 Minutes.
3 stars out of 4.
Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, and Zac Efron return to the neighbourhood with the sequel to the 2014 smash hit "Neighbours." With Neighbors 2, Rogen (who acts as a screenwriter and producer), and Director Nicholas Stroller have flipped the original concept of "Parents vs Fraternity" on it's head, and have instead, made Neighbours 2 have the parents take on a new sorority. Chloe Grace Moretz joins the cast as Shelby, the leader of the new sorority "Kapa Nu." Neighbors 2 is an absolute blast, and is the rare sequel that lives up the original, and instead of telling the same joke twice, actually furthers the story.
Neighbors was the best comedy of 2014, bar none, so going into, Neighbors 2, I was skeptical. Comedy sequels tend to be very hit and miss, and the marketing for the film looked as if the film was a rehash of the original film, by switching the fraternity for a sorority. I was pleasantly surprised, as Neighbors 2, not only tells a completely new and original story, it builds upon the concept of adults relationship with young adults.
The ensemble cast all do stellar work, and all bring something new to their characters. The standout for me is, one again, Rose Byrne, who steals this film, just as she did with the first film. Not only is she given the best material to work with, but all her jokes land, and she has such a great screen presence. In more supporting roles, Seth Rogen and Zac Efron are charming, and have great chemistry, and play extremely well off of each other. Chloe Grace Mortez does solid work in the film, as Shelby, the founder of sorority, who seeks to take on the sexist fraternity/sorority system. Although, I felt that she was too young for the role, and was given very "PG" material, she did her best to make her scenes work.
At 93 minutes long, Neighbors 2 is the perfect length for a comedy. While I feel that the film starts to run out of steam towards the third act, the first two acts are very impressive, as they are incredible witty, insightful, and natural. My only complaint is that I wish the filmmakers had given the sorority more to do in the film, and make them have as much of a presence, as the fraternity did in the original film. Regardless, Neighbors 2, is an absolute blast, and is the rare sequel that is just as good ad the original. I look forward to a part 3, in this consistently funny franchise.