Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Movie Review: ‘Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising’ kicks it up a notch

From its comedic success back in 2014 with “Neighbors,” Seth Rogen rolls out “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” a constant laugh-out-loud and triumphant sequel.

When we first met new parents Mac (Rogen) and Kelly Radner (Rose Byrne), they had just bought their first house in a dream neighborhood, but encountered Delta Psi Beta, the nightmare fraternity next door. Mac and Kelly began a feud with the leaders of Delta Psi: Teddy (Zac Efron) and Pete (Dave Franco). The frat went down with blazing flames, but little did they know what comes next.

Now in “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising,” which welcomes back the original cast along with director Nicholas Stoller (“Forgetting Sarah Marshall”), Mac and Kelly have sold their house to move their expanding family to the suburbs. Unfortunately not comprehending the term escrow, the Radner’s have a 30-day probation to keep the house in the finest shape and not allow any problems affect the expected tenants. Now cue Kappa Nu, the rebellion sorority assembled by the tough and independent Shelby (Chloë Grace Moretz). Shelby with her two friends whom creates Kappa Nu in retaliation that sororities aren’t allowed to throw parties and to praise women empowerment.

Roadblocks are met as Mac and Kelly discover Teddy offered to help start up this sorority as revenge and to keep occupied as he lost his job as the shirtless model for Abercrombie & Fitch.

But not too far along Teddy joins forces with “team parents” as they plan to take down Kappa Nu. Efron and Rogen portray the ultimate brotherhood as they band together for the ultimate showdown.

The comedic aspect of this sequel overpowers the first. The movie’s timely punchlines leaves the audiences in stitches. Fans can be assured Rogen does not lack his emphasis on marijuana in the film because that’s how Kappa Nu makes their biggest revenue yet. On a constant stream of jokes, Neighbors 2 hits the head on the nail with current hot topic: feminism. Be warned not all  the quirky moments from the trailers and social media advertisements made the cut for the big screen.

The characters develop throughout the film, from Teddy slowly grasping onto adulthood four years after college, Mac and Kelly accepting parenthood as the new fad, and the Kappa Nu girls learning to embrace sisterhood.

Sequels have a tendency to fail expectations created from the original, but Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising defeats all odds. From the screenplay to the cast it executes every aspect with comedy gold.

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (rated R) is now in theaters.

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“Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” held its Los Angeles premiere on May 16, check out the quick Q&A with some of the cast and crew:

Q: How do you think the sorority differs from the fraternity in this film?

Nora Lum (Christine):

“The sorority in this film, is just a group of best friends. I don’t think we exclude anybody, we aren’t cliquey. The most important part is that we are flawed and we are still trying to figure things out. We aren’t Barbie dolls, we are just normal girls.”

Brendan O’Brien (Writer):

“Big difference is that the fraternity, they were seniors and they had been doing it for four years. They’re best friends, really tight. And this one is about girls that are freshmen and know nobody, so it’s really about seeing them bond together as a group and get their legs in college.”

Hannibal Buress (Officer Watkins):

“They’re pretty similar. They’re not just all with each other, they invite sororities, and the girls invite fraternities. There’s alcohol, some people not being able to handle it, and probably some wings.”

 

Q: How do you relate to your character in the film? Or do you relate to any characters in the film?

Chloë Grace Moretz (Shelby):

“I got to partially write the character Shelby for the film. I wanted to create a girl who’s a lot like me, who grew up heavy in athletics, with four older brothers, and was heavily considered a tomboy, which under the veils of our society is not viewed as the most sexual girl or the pretty, hot or popular girl. I wanted to break those boundaries and say, look here’s a young girl who’s aggressive and knows what she wants and knows how to get it. But I can also be proud of who I am and powerful, and men can find me attractive, I can feel attractive, and that’s just the way it is.”

O’Brien:

“Definitely Seth’s character, Mac because I have two young kids, the inspiration for the first movie was me and my writing partner we were having kids and getting older, and said ‘this stinks.’ When you see young people they look like they’re 30 years younger than you. So I relate to him in that sense and that my wife is really pretty too so she kinda looks like Rose Byrne.”

 

Q: What is your most memorable moment from making this film?

Lum:

“Aside from Zac with his shirt off, smoking a lot of fake weed and hanging with all the homies, there was a great energy on set.”

O’Brien:

“I love the most writing with these guys, you get to hang around and Seth and hear his laugh is just the best. To make him laugh, and hearing that, you know you’ve done well. It feels you with joy.”

Moretz:

“Many moments, throwing dirty tampons at the window, and I thought ‘what the hell am I doing with my life?’”

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