Review: ‘Neighbors 2’ Tries So Hard To Be Socially Conscious

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising‘ Wants To Be Empowering & Funny But The Message Gets Lost

Most of the time, you know what to expect from a sequel to a comedy film. The movie usually ends up being a reworking of the first one. ‘Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising suffers from the same sequel problem. Only this time, it tries to discuss several social justice issues like feminism and equality issues among all of the gross-out immature humor. The laughs are appropriate for this movie but it’s hard to hear your social message with all the dick jokes from Seth Rogen.

The audience enjoyed the outrageous gags at the screening. I even laughed at a few of the insane moments along the way. ‘Neighbors 2‘ hits all the right notes for a comedy film but when it tries to get a bit preachy, it comes off insincere.

Neighbors 2

The addition of Chloe Grace Moretz was the only change to the film that truly worked. She’s believable as this young sheltered girl finding her self. She might be a bit of a stoner and “talks like Eminem” but Moretz’s Shelby is the right amount of flawed. Also, the hilarious Feminist Icon party thrown in the movie by her character is one of the highlights to me.

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I also have to applaud the film for using Dave Franco’s sudden gay character twist as a heartfelt moment and not to gross the audience out. Nicholas Stoller and the writing team of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg surprisingly handled this with such realism to how this would work. From the line about who proposes to who or their on-screen kiss coming at a honest moment and not a comedic one, it’s refreshing to see homophobia not used as a lazy joke. Even the punchline of “sometimes you gotta suck a dick to know you don’t like sucking dicks” has some awkward truth to it.

If only ‘Neighbors 2‘ focused a little less on trying to be “smart” and just bask in its ridiculousness, I would have been able to enjoy it a little bit more. Sadly, the movie just ends up being more of the same with some subtle tweaks.

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising‘ comes out May 20th, 2016. Starring Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron & Chloë Grace Moretz.

Neighbors 2

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EJ Morenohttp://Vimeo.com/EJMoreno
Who is EJ Moreno? Is he a trained physician? No. Is he a former Miss Universe contestant? Possibly. With a bachelors degree in film and a love of pop culture, he brings an alternative view to the world of pop culture journalism. Follow him on Twitter @EJKhryst and check out his film work at Vimeo.com/ejmoreno