Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016)


Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.  

USA/China, 2016.  Universal Pictures, Perfect World Pictures, Point Grey Pictures, Good Universe.  Screenplay by Andrew Jay Cohen, Brendan O’Brien, Nicholas Stoller, Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen, based on characters created by Andrew Jay Cohen, Brendan O’Brien.  Cinematography by Brandon Trost.  Produced by Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen, James Weaver.  Music by Michael Andrews.  Production Design by Theresa Guleserian.   Costume Design by Leesa Evans.  Film Editing by Zene Baker, Michael A. Webber.

Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne are preparing for the arrival of their second child, excited about moving to the new house they have purchased while waiting out the sale of their current place to another couple. Their buyers have asked for a month-long escrow, and our heroes have no worries about the situation considering that their noisy fraternity neighbours are long gone. Across town, though, Chloe Grace Moretz has started university and is dissatisfied with her sorority: female campus groups aren’t allowed to throw parties (only fraternities are), so Moretz and her friends want to start their own sisterhood outside the jurisdiction of such ridiculous limitations, but where? Enter Zac Efron, now graduated from college but not much more mature than the party boy he was in school, lagging behind his best friend (Dave Franco), who is about to marry his boyfriend (John Early). Devastated by the feeling that he is useless and immature, Efron decides to act as mentor to Moretz’s fledgling sorority and installs them in his old property, which means that Rogen and Byrne’s sale is in great jeopardy. What follows is a series of comedic situations that rival the first film for quality, this one is just as silly, lightweight and, despite the filthy nature of many of the jokes, still good-natured even when indulging in its shameless opportunities to get Efron into nothing but a tiny pair of shorts. The fun is bolstered by a hilarious cast of new characters while still benefiting from the chemistry between those who were already involved, but most gratifying is that this one actually allows the female-driven, no-holds-barred comedy to get outrageous; jokes involving bloody tampons being flung at windows may push the limits of taste for some, but it’s also a salve for those us disappointed with Bad Moms, which didn’t have the guts to be more than a very soft lady Hangover.

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