SORORITY RISING’s the name, equal rights is the game.
Very rarely are comedic sequels accepted as equals. Whether they hit or miss depends on its layout and how interestingly different, yet somewhat close the source-material is. The million-dollar question is… Are they even necessary? Just because something like 2009’s THE HANGOVER (for example) made a boat load of money and garnered critical acclaim the first time, doesn’t mean it would be praised the second time. That said, can the same apply to 2014’s NEIGHBORS? Successful in every way, was there even a reason to bring it back? No, not really. It’s not like the masses demanded it. But for what it’s worth, if it proves to be a success once, it’ll be much easier to get off the ground a second time. The rest depends on what’s presented and how we, “The People,” take it.
Remembering all that transpired a couple of years ago seems to be fresh in our heads. It wasn’t that long. From director (Nicholas Stoller), to cast, and even its gags, NEIGHBORS returns with a vengeance. At it again, are Seth Rogen, Zac Efron and Rose Byrne, joined by Chloë Grace Moretz this time in NEIGHBORS 2: SORORITY RISING. A tale that goes beyond fictional shit like Batman vs Superman, or Team Iron Man vs Team Captain America. This is real, motherfuckers! This no-holds-barred confrontation pertains to Parenthood vs Sisterhood.
Now that Mac (Rogen) and Kelly Radner (Byrne) have a second kid on the way, they’re ready to make the final, reluctant move into adulthood: the suburbs. But just as they thought they’d reclaimed the neighborhood and were safe to sell, they learn that the new occupants next door are a sorority (Kappa Nu) spear-headed by Shelby (Moretz), who are even more out of control than Teddy (Efron) and his brothers ever dreamed of being.
Pushed far enough, Mac and Kelly are forced to turn to the one ex-neighbor with the skills to bring down the new Greeks next door – alongside best friends Jimmy (Ike Barinholtz) and Paula (Carla Gallo) – in comes charismatic Teddy as their secret weapon to charm, then harm! However, one thing’s for sure. And that’s that they have severely underestimated the power of youthful ingenuity and straight-up cray-cray.
Considering it’s the same movie all over, the fact that the jokes are still there as harsh and impactful as its predecessor makes SORORITY RISING tolerable and fun. This time around, the emphasis of equality and acceptance seems to be the moral-of-the-story. Granting us a bit of a twist, this new chapter of chaotic comedy really pushes buttons that have hijacked not only Hollywood, but our society as a whole. Its in-your-face narrative of Girl Power and LGBT acceptance is as clear as water and cleverly witty. Not once is it frowned upon and easily flows. Whether it’s jokes that pertain to bodily functions or simply having to “suck dick” to make sure you like it or not, SORORITY RISING holds its own.
Straight-laced as best can be, the chemistry among the cast is still there, and some of the new faces like Moretz, or her sorority sisters Beth (Kiersey Clemons) and Nora (Beanie Feldstein) add a different layer of enjoyment to what now can easily be referred to as a franchise. Nothing ever compares to the first, of course. Honestly, there are jokes that fall flat in SORORITY, but that’s beside the point as its strength lies within the core of both groups’ malicious intent to prevail and win what seems to be their biggest battle of their lives: on one end for those looking to move into deeper maturity, and on the other for those who seem to seek respect as newly-formed, female adults.
Fun and chaotically ferocious, it’s not that bad a flick. I can comfortably guarantee you’ll laugh.
Grade: B / Genre: Comedy, Sequel / Rated: R / Run Time: 1:32
Cast: Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, Chloë Grace Moretz, Dave Franco, Ike Barinholtz, Carla Gallo, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Kiersey Clemons, Beanie Feldstein, Selena Gomez y Lisa Kudrow
Directed by: Nicholas Stoller