I did not expect to like Neighbors 2 as much as I did. I’ll admit I enjoyed the first one, but I never felt it needed a sequel. In this case though, the sequel might be better than the original.
The movie starts a few years after the last one. Mac and Kelly are pregnant again and are focusing on raising daughter Stella. In the college close to their neighborhood, new student Morgan has just come from a strict household and is ready to party. While pledging a sorority, she learns that only Fraternities can have parties and sororities are barred from throwing any kind of celebration in their house. Angered and frustrated, Morgan teams up with new pals Beth and Nora to form their own sorority off campus. Their sorority so happens to reside in the same house right next to Mac and Kelly.
I really liked how the sorority girls were portrayed in this movie. That’s a rare thing to say, because so few movies get it right, but this one does. They slip in a bit of social consciousness, making it a bit funnier and a bit smarter than the first. What I liked is the movie addressed inequality between the sexes without getting preachy about it.
Zac Efron returns, and not just as a walk on. Instead, he acts as Morgan’s party mentor, teaching her all the ins and outs of being a binge drinking, hard partying bro. At the same time, he’s dealing with his own issues, as he still has yet to grow up. Morgan was also an enjoyable character, because she flouted how girls should act and didn’t apologize for it. She’s a bit more empathetic than Efron was in the original.
Lisa Kudrow, Kelsey Grammar and Dave Franco all had walk on cameos that didn’t feel superfluous, even though this movie was a clear cash grab. They made such a good choice in the cameos, using people with pitch perfect comedic timing, that it worked beautifully. For that, I’ll forgive the cash grab.
Neighbors 2 has a lot more jokes that hit the right notes than the original. Adding Chloe Grace Mortez to the cast rounded out the laughs, because the girl has a gift for blue humor. She’s probably the funniest, truest to life character I’ve seen in a comedy of this nature, which is really what makes Neighbors 2 work so much more.
That being said, Seth Rogan really didn’t do it for me in this movie. He kind of faded into the background and got less laughs than the other characters. I felt like there were so many missed opportunities for better jokes and one liners. Honestly, it felt like he ad-libbed his script, but then didn’t have anything funny to say.
This time around, you’ll have a hard time deciding who to root for. A more empathetic villain makes this movie a bit better the second time around, and it packed in a lot more laughs as well. All in all, this, and the original are worth the watch.
WE GAVE IT: 3.5 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!