Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

Neighbors 2 - Sorority Rising

Neighbors 2 - Sorority Rising
Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, Chloe Grace Moretz and Selena Gomez

Rated: R for crude sexual content including brief graphic nudity.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: May 20, 2016 Released by: Universal Studios, Inc.

As spring semesters come to a close a large demographic will no doubt have libidinous fun with Nicholas Stoller's Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, the follow-up to his 2014 hit starring Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne and Zac Efron (dancing to an apparent nadir in Dirty Grandpa). Still, Stoller has had a firmer grasp on the material with better results without Rogen in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him To The Greek, and even The Muppets.

With Stoller, Rogen and his longtime partner Evan Goldberg as co-writers the material would appear to be amped up at least when it comes to the genial low-brow fervor amidst more thematic undercurrents like distaff empowerment and sexism (as well as same-sex conjugality); the filmmakers don't pass over the rapacious nature of modern campus life. It's still hard not to admit how Rogen and Efron can have a jaded, watchable camaraderie given the latter's character predilections while an adult zaniness overrides any contemplative attempts in the storyline. As if anyone really expected them to do so.

But, the confrontations propagated by Rogen's Mac and newly expecting wife Kelly Radner (Byrne again exhibiting decent timing) as well as oiled-up and ripped former Delta Psi Beta head Teddy Sanders (Efron, embracing the metamorphosis from teenybopper to ignobility with a certain cognizance) still has that wry spark to it even if the material doesn't branch out much from its well-received predecessor (entitled 'Bad Neighbors' in other territories).

A couple years have passed and Mac and Kelly are looking to move out with a month period on escrow for their home. So, the titular aspect of the naughty tale rises to the surface with Chloe Grace Moretz (showcasing a nasty wryness) as freshman Shelby having her fill of frat life branching out from one (led by Selena Gomez) to her Kappa Kappa Nu. Resituating in the suburbs next to Mac and Kelly isn't ideal for their relocation plans.

That'll start another wave of zany gags and all kinds of sexual interludes with drugs, appeasing paraphernalia, et. al. in a loafing, hardly low-concept way maneuvering between wild and dangly set-pieces, some of which more than rival Neighbors. An exchange about 'right to party' validity can be jocose along with Billy Eichner's shtick as a real-estate agent. Returnees to what is more than well-populated is Dave Franco as Teddy's newly engaged buddy, Lisa Kudrow as beleaguered Dean Gladstone, as well as newcomer Kelsey Grammer with decent reaction shots as Shelby's dad.

What is imprecise and inveterate on the narrative angle doesn't matter to Stoller and his writers in capitalizing on ad-libbing into more adult arrested development with Byrne and Moretz having a ball with fatuous imprudence with sinewy shirtless schlemiel Teddy crucial to the hijinks and its resolution. This latest installment flourishes at times with a devil-may-care daffiness, though some may pick up on its civics and behavioral  commentary. Which still doesn't condone indolent crude strokes though pruriently procrastinating self-denial is better anyway.

  Frank Chris Jim Dave Nina Matt Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Neighbors 2 - Sorority Rising  C-      C+   C      C+            C 

Home | Search | Reviewer Bios | Links | Mail Us
Copyright © 2016 Projections