Quick Movie Review: Neighbors 2 (2016)

neighbors-2

If you want to talk about consistency between the two Neighbors films, they do a great job. Unfortunately, the first film isn’t good. And its sequel is perhaps slightly more enjoyable than its predecessor, but suffers from so many of the same fundamental issues (see Neighbors).

I didn’t need to revisit the first film in order to prep for this one. All I had to remember was how much I hated it.

This one features the same unbelievable amount of plot holes, the same immature and derivative humor, yet lacks the somewhat “relatable” theme. However, I can probably say that I laughed a bit more this time around (twice is still more than once, right?).

In Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, husband and wife duo, Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne, sell their house, which is now in escrow. So the new owners have 30 days to back out if anything seems fishy about the situation. It just so happens that a new sorority, headed by Chloe Grace Moretz, moves in next door. Apparently sororities in America have a strict “no party rule,” but THIS sorority vows to ignore that rule and throws one every night of the week.

One of the things I hate about the first film is repeated once more here. The filmmakers want us to root for both sides, trying to make us empathize with both Rogen/Byrne AND the sorority sisters. But reality is, Moretz and her gang are really terrible people. What halfway-decent person would throw bloody tampons at a window with a 2-year-old on the other side watching? I’m literally not exaggerating.

Then, in comes Zac Efron reprising his frat-guy role from the first film. But he’s not just featured in the film–he becomes a third protagonist. We go into his whole story of being kicked out of his apartment after his roommate gets engaged. Now he feels all alone and is unsure of where his life is going.

So the film is jumping around all three stories and winds up covering zero ground because of it. And Rogen, who’s the only funny person out of the leads, is featured the least. Moretz and Efron are great and all, but they’re not funny. This is a comedy.

Pretty much the whole film consists of the married couple and the sorority going back and forth pranking each other. Rogen and Byrne report them to the university’s administration, so to get back at them, the sorority steals all of their belongings and sells them (?). The filmmakers obviously assume that no one watching this is trying to solve any of these elementary conflicts themselves. Instead, they just keep piling on a series of unrealistic events where nobody is rational at all, and we’re supposed to laugh about it.

The movies boasts a couple of nice cameos, which go underutilized for the most part. And the comedy scenes have no real structure or pacing–the takes are all just thrown in there in a seemingly unorganized way.

So if you loved the first film, you’ll probably love this Neighbors 2. If you hated the first film, you probably won’t even consider watching this one. It’s a win-win!

Twizard Rating: 54

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