Neighbors 2

Starring: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, Chloe Grace Moretz, Ike Barinholtz, Kiersey Clemons, Beanie Feldstein, Dave Franco, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jerrod Carmichael, Clara Mamet, Selena Gomez, Hannibal Buress, Carla Gallo, Lisa Kudrow, Kyle Mooney, Kelsey Grammer, Abbi Jacobson, Billy Eichner
Directed By: Nicholas Stoller

Plot: Mac (Rogen) and Kelly (Byrne) have a toddler, and another baby on the way, and have decided to sell their house and move to a bigger one for their expanding family. Teddy (Efron) is still having issues finding his place in the world. Shelby (Moretz) is a young college freshman looking to party and make friends. So, Shelby gets the idea to start a sorority off campus, which initially involves Teddy’s help. This puts Mac and Kelly’s plans for selling up in the air, as they have to contend with another rowdy group of college kids next door… only this time they are girls.

What Works: It’s pretty much a carbon copy of the original. The format is essentially the same, just with Efron having more of a role. There’s a familiarity here that works in its favor, because they stuck so close to the original. You feel like you’re watching characters you already like, and that’s what they’re hoping. I think most of the leads did solid work, though I couldn’t pick anyone as a standout.

What Doesn’t: It’s a carbon copy, but a less funny version of the original. Most of the jokes have a been-there-done-that feel to them, or they just don’t work at all. Some jokes are crude sight gags just for the sake of being crude that don’t work. I’m no longer surprised why this sequel flopped at the box office. The first one wasn’t even that great, but at least it had a few things working in its favor. This one makes you wonder why they all came back. Byrne is marginalized a lot more here because her character is pregnant, which sucks because she’s a lot funnier than this film lets her be. The film underutilizes the original frat boys (Franco, Carmichael, and Plasse). The sorority isn’t even a good replacement, as most of these girls aren’t funny either. Feldstein is trying her best to be a Rebel Wilson type, but she’s not funny. Clemons is basically here to be the token black girl, but while Carmichael actually had stuff to do in the first film, she’s given virtually nothing. By not evolving the girls of the sorority, we’re left with the original characters, who are just up to their schtick from the first film. I thought the puke scene was predictable and not funny, the balls were gross and unnecessary, and the baby foot was dangerous at best. I totally love this type of comedy when its done right, and this film is sort of a masterclass on how to do frat comedy poorly.

Final Word: Skip this sequel. There is actually a reason people didn’t see this in theatres. It doesn’t work, it’s not funny, and it’s a rather pointless film that will only serve to sully the memory of the original. Neighbors 3? No thanks.

FINAL GRADE: C-

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