Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Not Quite At Level of Original

(L to R) Kelly (ROSE BYRNE) and Mac Radner (SETH ROGEN) reunite with former neighbor (and enemy) Teddy (ZAC EFRON) for "Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising," the follow-up to 2014's most popular original comedy.

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising opened in theaters on May 20, 2016.

Directed by Nicholas Stoller, the comedy stars Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, Chloë Grace Moretz, Dave Franco, Ike Barinholtz, Carla Gallo, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Kiersey Clemons, Beanie Feldstein and Lisa Kudrow. The sequel was written by Andrew Jay Cohen & Brendan O’Brien & Nicholas Stoller & Evan Goldberg & Seth Rogen.

Returning the main stars from the 2014 comedy, Chloë Grace Moretz takes over as Mac and Kelly Radner’s rival who makes their life a living hell. A lot has happened since we last saw Mac (Rogen) and Kelly (Byrne). They are now expecting their second kid and looking to move to the suburbs. There’s just one minor problem, their house is in escrow–meaning the buyers (Sam Richardson and Abbi Jacobson) have 30 days to check in on the house and make sure things are fine.

Their new neighbors are worse than the Delta Psi fraternity that previously lived there. This proves to be a problem with their house on the market.

Teddy (Efron) is living with Pete (Dave Franco), his best friend from college. Pete soon gets engaged and Teddy is asked to move out. Teddy has a criminal record thanks to the events of the first film so he’s not exactly able to find great work opportunities. He does the only thing he can think of: run to Delta Psi’s old house.

Shelby (Moretz), Beth (Kiersey Clemons) and Nora (Beanie Feldstein) decide to start up Kappa Nu after they learn how the sororities are not allowed to throw any parties of their own. Their sorority will be outside the system and will do whatever they want, including throwing their own parties. If Mac and Kelly thought Teddy (Efron) and Delta Psi were bad, Kappa Nu is a gazillion times louder. It becomes an all-out war between Neighbors.

Teddy originally decides to mentor Kappa Nu but he soon sees how evil they are and switches sides. Teaming up with their friends, Jimmy (Ike Barinholtz) and Paula (Carla Gallo), once more, Mac and Kelly have a new secret weapon now that Teddy has switched sides.

Unlike other movie sequels, Neighbors 2 doesn’t seem to re-hash what happened in the first movie. That’s what went wrong with movies such as The Hangover: Part 2. Instead of making it bigger, which they very well could have decided to do, they decide to explore what was the next step for the Radners and other characters returning from the first film.

It’s not as great as the original but it could have been a lot worse.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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