‘Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising’ Review

‘Neighbors 2’ flips genders, but keeps a neutral (and hilarious) stance on its raunchy representation of poor college taste.

‘Neighbors 2’ holds its own by masking feminist undertones with another humorous look into college idiocy.

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Review
Photo courtesy of Steven Zang.

Playing with fire can sometimes have its perks. Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising is a perfect instance of this idea, giving dedicated viewers more than just a perceived sense of levity. While most sequels attempt to recreate the magic formula prescribed by a lavish predecessor, this comedy blockbuster flips its foundation on its head. By doing so, it gives way to intriguing story arcs, a new cast of adolescent misfits and a deeper look into what many refer to as the “battle of the sexes.”

In this second big-screen outing, Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne return as fumbling couple Mac and Kelly Radner. With the news of another pregnancy, the two try to move out of their hell-stricken home to the likes of a quieter suburb. Nevertheless, when a new sorority rents out the property next door for the sole purpose of partying, Mac and Kelly must go head to head with their new ringleader, Shelby (Chloe Grace Moretz).

Meanwhile, in an attempt to feel “needed,” Teddy (Zac Efron) uses his fraternity knowledge to help the girls next door build their feminist-driven empire. However, when they all vote him out of the house, he recruits himself to help Mac and Kelly get through their house’s 30-day escrow period. What follows is a recklessly funny journey at the expense of younger generations everywhere, giving way to more than just your average summer comedy.

“This follow-up to Neighbors is a rare instance of a sequel that’s just as entertaining as the original,” said Corey Norton, a Lodi filmgoer and long-time fan of Seth Rogen’s brand of comedy. “The combination of crude comedy and real-world topics was well-blended.”

And that’s why it works. Neighbors 2 has an innate understanding of where it comes from and does everything in its power to give you novelty over repetition. And one of the ways that it does so is by portraying strong females in one of the toughest terrains imaginable: a college party. Its statement is held firm throughout the 92-minute running time despite its conspicuous mask of running gags, both new and old.

In other words, this sequel might appear unnecessary on the outside (part of me even still vouches for this on the grounds of morality). Yet, don’t be fooled so easily. Because, in a comforting change of pace, this one goes out to the ladies.

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising is now playing in movie theaters everywhere. Some local venues include AMC Clifton Commons 16, Bow Tie Caldwell Cinemas and even AMC Essex Green 9 in West Orange. For a list of even more theaters and show-times, visit fandango.com today.

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