NEIGHBORS 2: SORORITY RISING (1 out of 10) Directed by Nicholas Stoller, Written by Andrew Jay Cohen, Brendan O’Brien, Nicholas Stoller, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg; Starring Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, Chloë Grace Moretz, Ike Barinholtz, Kiersey Clemons, Dave Franco, Jerrod Carmichael, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Beanie Feldstein, Clara Mamet; Rated R for “crude sexual content including brief graphic nudity, language throughout, drug use and teen partying;” Running time 92 minutes; In wide release May 20, 2016.
Citizen-Bot (Andy Wilson) and I nearly always see eye to eye on movies. In fact, when I read his reviews here or we discuss them over at “Bored As Hell”, we are normally within a point or so of each other in our final consensus. It is due to this and his dueling review of “Neighbors 2” that I am fully convinced he has either been replaced with a pod person or has been brainwashed by the shadow government. There’s no other reason he would heap such praise onto such a god-awful movie. If you see him, please call for help and don’t make any sudden movements.
“Neighbors 2” picks up a few years after the first with Mac and Kelly Radner (Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne, respectively) awaiting the birth of their second child while trying to sell their house. Everything is going well as the buyers love the house, so the Radners just need to get through a 30-day escrow, and all will be fine. Enter Shelby (Chloe Grace Moretz) and her new sorority, Kappa Nu, that move into the vacant house next door and stir up trouble for Mac and Kelly. In a fit of desperation, they turn to their old nemesis Teddy (Zac Efron) to help them get rid of the college freshmen before the buyers figure out what has happened and withdraw from the sale.
Interestingly enough, the reason why Shelby wants to start an independent sorority is based on real world rules, namely that sororities can’t throw parties and only fraternities can. Her desire to go independent after she and her new friends attend a frat party (which can only be described as a date rapist’s wet dream – more on this later) makes sense and should have set the bar for a funny and feminist movie. It doesn’t. Instead nearly every joke falls flat and even the edgiest of its attempts at humor are more odorous than humorous.
Speaking of which, I absolutely love inappropriate humor and believe that there should be no sacred cows in the world of comedy. Most comics or movies will use horrible topics to make a point. “Blazing Saddles” is a perfect example of a film using racist terms and ideas to make a huge point about how horrible it is and why we shouldn’t be comfortable using such words or even thinking about people of color in that sense.
“Neighbors 2” doesn’t get this and instead tries cheap and juvenile laughs that no one should find funny, especially with how they are delivered. Teenagers constantly deriding anyone over the age of 21 as “old people” isn’t funny, it’s tiresome especially when the writers think they are being hilarious. What about racism, does that work for you? Or maybe date rape, that’s always a crowd pleaser. If any of this does sound like something you’d get a chuckle out of, then by all means, go see this film. The only time it managed to eke a laugh out of me was when Seth Rogen made a Jewish concentration camp joke (I told you l like inappropriate humor), but that was one of out of maybe three times I even smiled.
I still can’t really figure out who this movie is for either. Sure, the first was funny and harmless enough, but I didn’t hear anyone ranting and raving for a sequel to see where our characters went from there. I guess 13-17 year olds will be doing their best to sneak in, because they’re about the only demographic that would giggle at bloody tampon jokes and a fake ball sack gag. Even the makers of the “Scary Movie” franchise would have taken a look at this script and passed.
The only positive thing here happens at the very beginning when Pete’s (Dave Franco) boyfriend proposes to him, and all of his old frat brothers are excited for him and don’t treat it any differently than any other couple getting engaged. For as much as frat life is portrayed as male bonding over alcohol and female conquests, the fact that these guys didn’t give a second thought to their buddy’s sexuality was great.
I could probably go on and on for another few pages listing my gripes and problems – including THE most painfully shot green screen scene in the history of film – but suffice it to say that this is one of the worst movies I have seen over the past few years. It’s not even worth waiting to get on Redbox. Hell, if a friend offered to pay for me to go see this, I would turn him down because an hour and a half of my life is worth much more than money can buy to be wasted on something like this. Just like a certain presidential candidate, it’s miserable, unfunny and represents all that is wrong with America.