neighbors-2-movie-review-01Directed By: Nicholas Stoller
Written By: Andrew J. Cohen, Brendan O’Brien, Nicholas Stoller, Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg
Based On Characters Created By: Andrew J. Cohen & Brendan O’Brein
Cinematography By: Brandon Trost
Editor: Zene Baker, Peck Prior & Michael A. Webber 

Cast: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, Chloe Grace Moretz, Dave Franco, Jerrod Carmichael, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Kiersey Clemons, Abbi Jacobson, Ike Barinholtz, Clara Mamet, Selena Gomez, Hannibal Buress, Carla Gallo, Kyle Mooney, Billy Eichner, Lisa Kudrow, Kelsey Grammer, Jacob Wysocki, Awkwafina

When their new next-door neighbors turn out to be a sorority even more debaucherous than the fraternity previously living there, Mac and Kelly team with their former enemy, Teddy, to bring the girls down.

Though I like the first film better, this film felt like it has more substance. Something to say and a lot more progressive whole stay home with the same humor and hijinks. It is more of the same but a bit softer but just as daring in spirit. As it seems to equal the playing field and be a little more fair to female characters this time around.

Though this film seems more relaxed then the first film. It seems more in a hurry. As the action stays more constant rather than feel, explore or dramatize anything or stay with any new characters or characters in general for too long. We get that we learned a lot about the couple and their friends as well as Zac Efron’s character in the first film. So there might not be too much new ground to cover. Except that Zac Efron’s world get thrown around and if we are going to explore that then also time can be taken to get to know the sorority girls a bit more. Instead of just introductions and learning a bit about them at their parties. Then again that would lead less screen time for more the star of the film Seth Rogen. As he is our main protagonist. Even through the film needs to be more of an ensemble. There doesn’t seem to be enough room. –At least in the first film we got into the psyche more of characters and getting to know them, but as a sequel obviously it seem to have to be bigger and faster. Even though it recycles the first film to a degree only with more of a message. Though it is nice to have a message in the film. It kind of silences that message to a degree of the film is still low brow and sophomoric. That it almost defeats the point the film seems to try to make.

In sequences though new characters are introduced. We get to know them quickly though barely get a chance to make an impact. As the other characters we already know so don’t spend anytime really getting to know them again. Which would allow for more time and room for hijinks instead of development.

Zac Efron seems more in control of himself. definitely more determined and confident. He always seems like he is slumming a bit in some of his other movies. As he has the leading man looks and talent though that is frowned upon to a degree these days it seems. Or at least it makes you look more artificial and molded. He just never seems to find to right roles or never fits into the ones he chooses completely (How he has never been in a MAGIC MIKE film or even an action film perplexes me) as he seems to be more a male bombshell who rarely gets any respectable acting jobs because of his looks. So he must take roles that seem to be more explosive of his looks. Though he is actually really good in 17 AGAIN and ME & ORSON WELLES

Kind of disappointing to see Selena Gomez though highly billed. Is here in more of a cameo.

Chloe Grace Moretz is good in her role. Creating a memorable character, though she still seems to look too young to play the part. Though that quality actually works well for the film as her immaturity explains the characters world and point of view as she doesn’t know any better. It’s also nice to see Kiersey Clemons in a supporting role. She was so good in the film DOPE. Here we get to see her more stretch her acting chops.

The films only true villains seem to be more the modern frat boys. Which is interesting as the film seems like that would be half the audience and who it is trying to appeal to. Then again maybe it is more meant to be subliminal for them.

Things seem to happen so fast in this film. That they almost zip by and it’s hard to get a hold of things before the film has already moved on.

Everyone from the original seems to get more time to expand their characters. The film just has too many ingredients that are creative and work, that they seem squeezed and bunched together. So that they never have enough room or time to grow and mature. Though are drained for every last drop they might be able to provide.

Like most of the new sorority members. Barely get any characterization only punchlines and individual looks and styles.

I am all for quality and showing females being more forthright and candid. As they can be just as raunchy as the guys, but it comes across at times to be the wrong environment to make a point about feminism in a Low-brow sophomoric comedy. Though I applaud planting truth bombs to infiltrate the films audience.

The production seems rushed and I realize they are the stars but we spend more time with them rather than the new cast. So we hardly get to know them maybe I enjoyed the first film as it didn’t seem to be anything other then what it was. Not to mention the actors don’t seem as invested.

This film whole dressed up is almost the same movie bit saves itself by offering something different and more.

Grade: C+

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