I have to start this review by stating that I have never seen the first Neighbors movie. That being said, other than a few jokes that I could tell were referencing event from the first movie, I was never lost. Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising is one of those comedy sequels that does not fall flat. The main reason being is underneath all the crude and raunchy humor, this a movie with something to say. The topics that include racism, sexism, ageism and growing up.
The plot deals with Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne’s characters trying to sell their house but that is threatened by Chloe Grace Moretz’s character and her new upstart sorority. The new sorority is one that is very modern as they do not want to be like other sororities, defined by men. The film never gets too preachy with its message. Moretz definitely shines as her character who is well meaning but is not as mature or as put together as she likes to think she is.
Zac Efron reprises his role from the first film. He brings a unique perspective that is plaguing a lot of people nowadays. That is the college graduate who does not know what to do with his life. He is someone clinging to the past and desperate to find somewhere to belong. The only thing that brings him purpose is him clinging to the past. He manages to be the link between all of the characters and though Efron never shies away from showing his chest, he does bring a sincerity to the role.
Rogen and Byrne also reprise their roles and they are really embracing the role of young adults entering full adulthood. With a new baby on the way and trying to sell their house to move into a bigger one, audiences can tell that they are being put through the wringer. But like all other subjects, it never gets too heavy handed.
Ultimately Neighbors 2 is an enjoyable film. I wouldn’t call it one of the funniest films that I have ever seen. However the laughs are solid and are consistent within. The messages within the film are ones that make you think but never come off as preachy. The film also has a short screen time as it barely goes over an hour and a half and so it never overstays its welcome either. It is one of rare comedy sequel that is solid and entertaining.