Review: Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, C
Rated R, 91 minutes
Lather, rinse and repeat. There's little that's new in the mildly entertaining, charming yet tiresome comedy sequel "Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising." If it feels like you've seen it before, you have with the surprise 2014 hit "Neighbors," which pitted normal schlub Seth Rogen again hot frat guy Zac Efron, but this is a weaker, less funny outing with more of the same bits as the first. Mac (Rogen) and Kelly Radner (Rose Byrne) are expecting their second child and preparing to sell their old house, subjected to a 30-day escrow. However, a newly established hard-partying sorority, Kappa Nu, led by Shelby (Chloë Grace Moretz), has moved into their neighboring house. To prevent the buyers pulling out, Mac and Kelly are soon forced to reunite with former foe Teddy (Efron) to help battle the sorority sisters after they dump him as their advisor. Directed by Nicholas Stoller, who directed the first film, and co-written by Rogen, Stoller, Evan Goldberg and original "Neighbors" writers Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O'Brien, "Neighbors 2" is a terribly thin, more-of-the-same dumb comedy has more of the same crude formula and an excessive amount of pot jokes that has you wondering what made the original so fun (it had a simplistic charm to it that is lacking here and less drug jokes). Problematic is having a host of writers this time out, who clamor at getting their ideas in: Rogen and producing partner Goldberg put their stamp with all that misplaced drug humor that becomes a central focus of the movie here. Much like the first film, it's full of back-and-forth, let's get even bits with lots of partying and gross-out, mean-spirited jokes like throwing used tampons at a window, a child playing with a dildo or bed bugs, running short of any type of meaningful plot or characters. The first film had its moments, thanks to the chemistry of Efron, Rogen and Byrne, but there's less of that here as well, and Moretz seems too smart and edgy of an actress for something like this. A mindless retread, "Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising" is dirty, pleasant and forgettable, which is enough to make it a hit, at least in its first week.