Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016) almost manages to come close to the original's spontaneity. The following review contains spoilers:
The Plot: A sequel to Neighbors (2014), it follows the same dim-witted couple, and this time around, they have to outwit a sisterhood that has moved next door.
Analysis: Despite the start being a bit boring, Neighbors 2 becomes more fun when Chloe Grace Moretz's character, Shelby, and her group of friends, move into the house next door to our main couple's abode. They are again played convincingly by Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne.
There's no shortage on acting talent, though we have seen Moretz in more challenging roles, she does make for a convincing freshman. The themes of minorities, same-sex marriages and adolescent depression are made fun of, but not with offense, rather with a postmodernist outlook of humor. Although, the frequent usage of the word "sexist", could have been taken down a notch.
Compared to the last entry, Neighbors 2 isn't that much different in terms of cinematic style. That's because Neighbors was a more original venture which showed both the couple, and the frat brothers, engaging gradually and understanding each other. But in this part two, we have the plot of the sorority sisters becoming a secondary storyline altogether.
The afore-mentioned factor is really annoying when the movie starts, but as the running time progresses, you realize that Neighbors 2 is one of those flicks that gets better as the plot moves along. And it was also a treat for me as I dislike comedies that are much longer than 90 minutes, but at 91 minutes, it made for an overall entertaining experience.
Of course, this picture does try to replay old jokes and dialogues just to showcase it as a sequel, and it's a bit too generic in some sequences. But with Byrne's Kelly Radner giving a feminist speech very much near the ending, seeing old friends unite, and then new family members emerge, the movie has not forgotten its prequel's roots at knowing how to finish off a comedy in proper fashion.
And not to mention when Teddy Sanders (Zac Effron) mentions that the girls have become what they hate, now if that's not deep enough for you, then watch another comedy, because after all the indecency, the hidden messages of acceptance in the narrative still come out as strong.
The Verdict: Neighbors 2 doesn't have its forebear's brilliance, but it's still worth watching if you liked the first part, and also because it's superior to most of the farces that Hollywood keeps churning out year by year.
The Rating: 3 out of 4.