By David Smallwood
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising
Starring: Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Chloe Grace Moretz, Rose Byrne, Dave Franco, Kiersey Clemons
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising makes the comedy attempts in The Nice Guys look on par with Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Mel Brooks.
This is one unfunny movie. Even Seth Rogen fans would agree that this is an utterly humorless film.
Put it this way – you might think this is funny if you can sit through 90 minutes of Dane Cook. If you think that a film with a recurring theme of parents of a two-year-old letting her play with a pink dildo is funny, then have at it. The parents at one point explain that it’s okay because the dildo doesn’t have veins.
It’s the kind of movie that thinks marijuana jokes are still hip and edgy and where several scenes look painfully improvised instead of scripted, and maintains a permanent air of, “oh, look at us, aren’t we just so cool because we can say ‘f-ck’ out loud as often as we want?”
Mercifully, Neighbors 2 is only an hour and a half, but after sitting through it, it’s one of those periods of time in your life you wish you could have back, and definitely not worth the price of the movie ticket spent to watch it. It’s highly doubtful that even the college-age Spring Break kids the movie is aimed for will find much amusement here.
Neighbors 2 is the sequel to 2014’s Neighbors, in which new parents Mac (Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) Radner move to the suburbs and enjoy a pleasant life until a college fraternity led by Zac Efron moves in next door and a revenge war eventually breaks out between them.
Maybe because the original movie made over $270 million, the team behind it thought, let’s do it again, this time with girls! So now a sorority led by Chloe Grace Moretz move in next door to make life hell for Mac and pregnant Kelly and their toddler.
A stereotypical trio of the pretty white girl, the Black girl sidekick and the fat girl decide to form Kappa Nu, their own sorority, because they don’t fit with the established ones on campus and because they want to smoke weed and host parties at their house, which apparently sororities can’t do in the United States; only fraternities can.
So the three girls manage to rent the $5,000 a month house next to the Radner’s, formerly home to Efron’s fraternity, to give their wild and loud parties. In the meantime, the Radners have sold their home to move to a larger place with another child coming, but are in escrow for 30 days and have to make sure things are okay in the hood for that month so the new owners don’t change their minds. So of course, the sorority’s constant parties are not a good thing.
Former enemy and frat party boy Efron returns to join forces with the Radners and their godly unfunny best friends to help put the kibosh on the sorority’s antics until the sale can successfully go through.
That’s the plot, such as it is. Neighbors 2 includes a female empowerment message and the concluding lessons the young college-girls-growing-into-women learn – that the members make the sorority, the sorority doesn’t make them, and that they’ll be sisters for life wherever they are.
If you can get through a mouth-to-mouth vomiting during sex scene and another in which the sorority bombards the Radners’ home with blood-soaked tampons – certainly earmarks of the Golden Age of Comedy, eh, Lucille Ball? – then that message is worth one star for this poorly written, soulless time waster of a movie.