Universal Pictures 1 hour 32 minutes R
Neighbors 2 is a gross, silly, and pretty predictable comedy bringing back the cast of the first Neighbors that made $270 million dollars at the box office. And this will probably rack up big bucks, too.
Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne are back as Mac And Kelly Radner in Nick Stoller’s progression of growing into a bigger family. Kelly’s pregnant and proceeds to get sick all over her husband in the middle of sex. That’s the opening. You might want to have dinner AFTER the movie.
Byrne credits Stoller (Neighbors, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) for being her pathway into comedy and loves working with Rogen. Rogen reportedly wasn’t going to do this one and they started looking for a replacement until he decided to join Zak Efron, Dave Franco and the rest of his Neighbor buddies.
Now there are newbies, too. Instead of the frat next door, girls who didn’t like the rules of the sororities on campus decide to make their own rules. Chloe Grace Moretz plays the wide-eyed Sorority girl who, by shear luck, falls into renting a house of her own, right next to the Radners. Kelly and Mac’s house has been sold, but the 30 day escrow period for approval is on and the clock is ticking.
Moretz says the film plays off that girls can be just as dumb as any boys in college. Zak as Teddy Sanders, finds his calling by becoming the catalyst to help the girls create a headaches for their neighbors. He’s done that before with the boys. Moritz says both Zak and Seth are really naturally funny because they make the same mistakes we all do and react the same way we all would, by kicking and screaming at ourselves. She does, too, in the film.
Mayhem and chaos ensue with gobs of girls in bikinis on the lawn and wild parties with silly antics and tons of ridiculous property destruction to keep the buyers from sealing the deal.
Franco, as Pete, plays the buddy who decides to marry his buddy. This is the closest we get to dealing with any kind of social issue in the film. Franco says this film may be the most fun he’s ever had on set because everybody likes each other and it’s so comfortable, anybody will say anything to get laughs. How many times have we heard this from buddies in bad movies?
Ike Barinholtzn (Sisters) plays Jimmy, husband of Beth, played by Kiersey Clemons, who are friends of Kelly and Mac. Ike gets to be totally outrageous. “I dress like a clown, blow an air horn in peoples face, I run around and scream, I yell at a baby, and I get high. Actually I did that all today in my real life.”
Efron plays the good-looking boob who has no job, no girl, and is totally lost. But, of course, he gets to show off his 6-pack shirtless and enhance it with oil. Jimmy takes a roast off the grill and squeezes the grease on him which is rubbed in by the rest of the cast. Byrne says she enjoyed all the takes but that it took a long time to get the grease and smell off her hands. Ewww!
Evan Goldberg, the writing and Producing partner of Rogen’s says usually the boys are stupid and the girls are smarter, but they decided that making the girls as stupid would make the action more interesting. They even played off the Captain America: Civil War poster with an advertising parody of their own, for laughs.
Is this worth your bucks? It’s not as funny as the first film, but if you like the characters, you’ll probably like this one. Even Rose Byrne says it’s really a film for “the kids.” But she has warm feelings for the cast and it was great fun getting together again. Just know that it is what it is; Gross, silly and predictable with a couple of laughs. If you’re lucky, you don’t have neighbors like these.