Break out your sleeveless tees, beer bongs and irresponsible drinking! Everyone’s favorite pseudo-suburban duo of unlucky, college fraternity scorning parents are back for a second time. In their plight for a normal, dull life their aspirations are potentially thwarted yet again by the hijinks of a much younger, obnoxiously noisy and drunken group of heathens next door.
This time, the strict adherence to the bro code, the dude-ism’s and testosterone fueled bravado are replaced with the feminine, rebellious and powerful sisterhood of the sorority.
Not surprisingly, the unruly, effervescent trio of women from the antagonistic, grassroots sorority, Kappa Nu, prove to be capable yet, contrasting heavily with the stereo-typically angelic and compliant attitudes that women often find themselves associated with.
It takes still happily married, newly expecting and overly confident couple, Mac and Kelly Radner, played by the lovable goof, Seth Rogen, and the charming Brit, Rose Byrne, respectively, a mere encounter to realize that the aforementioned conception couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only that, but the film in its entirety goes lengths to ever presently probe at themes of feminism and misogyny, but in the most menial way imaginable, harkening back to 90s era, Beastie Boys party rights movements.
Even I found myself cringing at the unscrupulous, and at times downright disgusting tactics and gags the girls at Kappu Nu, under the leadership of chilled out college freshman, Shelby, portrayed by Chloe Grace Moretz, employed in order to assert their dominance over their newly acquired territory.
As a result, the film consistently maintains its juvenile hilarity, especially with the helplessly meat headed mannerisms of Zac Efron’s character, Teddy Sanders, who absolutely stole the show once again in more ways than one. It was refreshing to see his character receive a varnish of immature depth upon his realization that his once brothers had all long moved on to bigger and better things in their older age, while he remained stuck as a pretty face, reminiscing upon the days of his carefree youth.
The same can be said for both Rogen and Byrne’s hilarious characters as well, who exist in chemical tandem and are conflicted with their rapidly increasing old age, and their inability to deem themselves responsible enough parents. I mean, when your daughter repeats the “f” word back to you and calls a pink artisanal dildo dressed as a princess her favorite toy, one can’t help but think they might be on to something…
Glued to Rogen’s hip in this film is Ike Barinholtz’s character, Jimmy, whose psychopathic clowning escapades and snappy one-liners will leave you wanting more. Aside from one of Moretz’s sidekicks, Nora, whose Melissa McCarthy-esque physicality and energetic nature led to some very funny moments, the rest of the supporting cast were quite unmemorable and left a lot to be desired.
I can almost guarantee that you will laugh, even if you don’t necessarily want to and perhaps even in a steady stream if you can channel your inner twelve year old that finds toilet humor of a phallic, blatantly racist and sexual nature funny. Luckily for me, I could and for the most part, a lot of the jokes and dialogue sequences evoked a deep cackle from the lungs of both myself, and the rest of the audience’s.
Yet the film didn’t resort to just dolling out laugh after laugh. For a sequel, especially one of a comedic nature, it was pleasantly surprising to find that the plot line didn’t seem too ludicrous or forced. Everything seemed as though it organically fell into place, whether that be for the better or for the worse, creating a mostly seamless flow. Notwithstanding of course, a few bumps, like some jarring mish mashing of several storylines during the films beginning, and a few instances of character breaks and fake resolutions closer to the films end. None of this overly detracted from the experience at large however, but is worth noting.
Overall, this is a film that knows its audience and doesn’t make any apologies for pandering to them. It’s lewd, crude and rude and well deserving of its hard R rating, with curse words being uttered as replacement filler for breathing as it seemed. To gauge this films enjoyment factor based on a light of pretension, as most probably will, would be to do the films curators a gross injustice and disservice. If you want an in your face, clear cut, laugh riot, especially with a little bit of help from Seth’s favorite herb, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising is your love letter.
Much like the sea of women who couldn’t avert their lit up eyes, or wipe the pools of drool from their mouths as they gazed at Efron’s Adonis like figure, I simply couldn’t take my eyes off the screen in a similar way. I give Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising a solid 7.5 out of 10.