Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast
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Neighbours 2: Sorority Rising arrives in this Friday. Our Lead Film Critic Jordan Samuel brings us the official ComiConverse review.
The original Neighbours (2014) surprised many that year for providing some great laughs even though the promotional material said otherwise. It delved into some next-door neighbour stereotypes without the typical old grumpy man who hates loud noises. So when the next instalment got confirmed many were confused as to how it would match the original, especially with the modern trend of terrible comedy sequels.
Many have criticized the trailers for showing all the good jokes, which has been the case for many major comedy projects.
Understandably you should never judge a movie by the trailer, but with comedy being subjective a first look matters in giving viewers something to go on. So going into this sequel the question remained, could Seth Rogen retread the ground again with another surprise hit?
Find out as ComiConverse presents its review for Neighbours 2.
Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) are ready to make the final move into adulthood. But just as they thought they have reclaimed the neighbourhood, they learn that their new neighbors are even more out of control than the last. To evict them, they’re need help from their ex neighbor (Zac Efron).
Watching the trailers for Neighbours 2, I had a sinking feeling that it would disappoint due to overly childish humour and I was worried that I’d be seeing more of a live-action adaptation of Family Guy.
But I’m happy to confirm that Neighbours 2: Sorority Rising is a decent comedy, that does have heart. Considering the ridiculous storyline of a Sorority taking over the neighbourhood, Neighbors 2 somehow tackles themes like feminism and acceptance perfectly, without being preachy, which is quite strange for a movie so “out there” in the plot department.
Set years after the original, the film picks up with Mac Radner (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) as our familiar couple, along with their daughter Stella. The Radners are ready to move out of their home into a bigger place where they can expand their family.
Sadly, their plans get destroyed by newcomer to the franchise Chloe Grace Moretz (Shelby), who attempts to join the local Sorority. Shelby is turned down for a stupid reason – a running joke in the sequel, which I won’t spoil.
She then creates another sorority called Kappa Nu with her fellow exiled sisters, played by the hilarious Kiersey Clemons and Beanie Fledstein. The girls want a home that knows how to party and rents out the house next door to Radner’s. The movie does well in taking the crazy storyline to the next level, and never takes itself too seriously. That was a quality that was needed for the maximum crazy showcased throughout the two-hour-plus comedy.
Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) returns to helm the project, and he does a good job at providing some hilarious scenes, even though his directional style is nothing mind-blowing. I liked how he made each character feel useful in each shot, which is much better than the last comedy I saw (Zoolander 2)
Jokes on gender inequality and teen stereotypes come in to play, and do work in the film’s context – never outstaying their welcome.
Having the film focus on those elements all the time would have been a disaster, something that the Director seemed to understand. I also enjoyed the chemistry between all the actors and actresses, which made it more engaging.
The movie also never holds back in the mature comedy sector, with jokes feeling like they were written for an adult audience. This film has the “Rated R” rating for obvious reasons with exposed breasts and chests, right, left and centre.
I enjoyed the cast and really hope the gang return for another adventure, because I’m warming to the franchise, which as we mentioned, is a strange thing to say about a comedy sequel nowadays. It would be awesome to see a trilogy come off well, because there is serious potential.
Neighbours 2 is good fun and provided the right amount of laughs for me, now it might not be a masterpiece but needless to say worth the price of admission. It keeps the DNA of the original intact while adding the needed spices to boost its comedy flavour.
If your looking for a decent comedy go see this!
Jordan Samuel is the Lead Film Critic for ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @JordanESamuel
Neighbors 2 breaks with the horrible comedy sequel syndrome perfectly, with some killer jokes and a smart script.