HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising
HTS Overall Score:68
Before I start out this review I have to just wonder what in blue blazes is going on with Chloe Grace Moretz? She was such a talented actress in her first few films and showed such promise. Her role as Hitgirl was awesome, and “Let Me In” was an awesome remake of an amazing foreign film. But recently she has been taking everything and anything she can get her hands on, and none of it is very good. It’s like her manager can’t seem to get her any good work, despite the woman showing some great acting range if given the chance. The fact that “Neighbors” was just a decent, but dumb, movie gave me hopes that the sequel would be better, but “Neighbors 2” isn’t even REMOTELY funny. In fact it’s a dumpster fire on digital film. I walked away so repulsed and shocked at the amount of unfunny stupidity on screen that I had to pop in the original “Neighbors” to see if I just was burnt out from the big dumb weed smoking comedy genre. Nope, “Neighbors” is still stupid and dumb, but I definitely laughed and had a pretty good time. It just seems that the changing of creative forces in the sequel created turd that just can’t be polished.
The same thing I said in my “Neighbors” REVIEW still holds true today. You know what you’re going to get with a Seth Rogen comedy. Lots of references to weed, sex, and being a man child. It’s just part of the formula that has made him successful and you usually can gauge whether or not you are going to like a movie based upon that assumption. However, not the case with “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising”. What you get is the shell of the first movie (and that wasn’t a great entry to begin with) and devolved into the most mind numbingly stupid comedy I have seen in quite some time.
Kelly (Rose Byrne) and Mac (Seth Rogen) Radner are just about ready to move on from their home. They have a second child on the way and they’ve just closed a deal to sell their old home and move into a bigger one. The only slightly hiccup is that they now are in escrow and have 30 days until the new owners finish the deal and move in. Well, that and the fact that a new sorority is JUST moving in. A fact that will pretty much mean the end of their deal as the new homeowners don’t show any interest in living next door to a sorority, as the Radner’s did with the frat house a few years back.
Meet the girls of Kappa Nu, Shelby (Chloe Grace Moretz), Beth (Kiersey Clemmons) and Nora (Beanie Feldstein, who is the younger sister of Jonah Hill), a group of frustrated girls who want to start their OWN sorority being that sororities on campus aren’t allowed to host parties, only go to the creepy oversexed frat house parties. So, instead of succumb themselves to the constant fears of being date raped and not having fun at parties, the group creates Kappa Nu. A sorority by girls, for girls. Shelby is the ringleader of the group and while they prefer not to have parties where the only goal is to get laid, they still want to kick it and just go buck wild. Which of course means taking copious amounts of drugs, drinking and standard sorority pledged humiliations, which naturally makes it VERY unpleasant for Kelly and Mac.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=79938[/img]To make matters even WORSE, their existence is only allowed due to the help of Teddy (Zac Efron), who is feeling put out as all of his old frat brothers are moving one with their lives and BECOMING something while he is still working a boring retail job. That is until the girls decide they’re too big for their britches and kick him out of his “management” position. Naturally Teddy doesn’t take this lying down and switches sides once more, turning what was a hopeless situation for the Radners into and all-out war for survival.
Ugg, what can I say. “Neighbors 2” is one of the worst, most unfunny comedies I have seen in quite some time. “Neighbors” was not the greatest comedy ever, but it focused on the Frat house and their bond with each other, as well as the Radnors equally. This mess just bounces from once cliché to the other, rehashing the funniest parts of the first one and just running them directly into the ground. The funny parts of the movie are ALL in the trailer, and by the time you realize that the damage is done. Nicholas Stoller tries to redo what made the first one decent, including making the girls effort into some sort of female empowerment story, but the end result is just a movie that coughs and sputters along with no real focus. The same gags are recycled with less impact (we have weed smoking at parties, zipping down the stairs at breakneck speed, and even airbags used as gags once more).
It doesn’t help the matter very much that the girls don’t have any real chemistry. They’re trying to bond as sisters and make it “Ho’s before Bro’s” but none of the girls have ANY of the chemistry that existed between the major guys. They all do dumb stuff and talk about they don’t want to break up any bonds, but there weren’t any bonds to begin with. I didn’t care or feel for ANY of their plights, as the friendship was glossed over as too much was crammed into the 93 minute film.
Rated R for crude sexual content including brief graphic nudity, language throughout, drug use and teen partying
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=79946[/img]While “Neighbors 2” is not a great experience AT ALL, the 2.40:1 AVC encoded video is more than capable of pleasing fans. Shot on digital cameras, the result is a crystal clear image that allows to experience all of the weed smoke, the bodily fluids, and the bright flashing colors of a party in near perfect HD. Colors are bright and warm, with a slightly hot touch to the white levels, and the detail is great. There’s some softness to the film that doesn’t allow it to be as sharp as “Neighbors” was, but it is still a great looking encode that manages to eek out a ton of fine detail. The old party house that used to be Teddy’s haunt looks a bit more dilapidated, and you can tell the budget didn’t allow them to deck it out as much as they did previously, but the major party at the end of the movie makes up for it with lots of flashing strobe lights and sparkly costumes. Black levels are inky deep and show no signs of crush or other major artifacting. All in all it’s a very nice looking transfer.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=79954[/img]Much like the video, the 5.1 DTS-HD MA track is excellent. It’s not as explosive as I expected, mainly due to the film not having as much out of control parties as its predecessors. But the audio is still rocking with a heavy electronic score that makes turns up the heat when it needs to. Dialog is crisp and clear, anchored up front in the center channel, and the surrounds actually get quite a bit of action. Especially when the Radners crash the tailgate party to steal the weed, and the end where everything lets loose. LFE is heavy and hits you right in the chest with lots of midbass action, and actually hits pretty hard throughout the entire movie. The background party music can sometimes be a bit overpowering, but that fits in quite well with the whole “wild out of control sorority house” scenario.
• Deleted Scenes
• Gag Reel
• Nu Neighbors - Neighbors is back with a new direction and plenty of new cast members. Director Nick Stoller and Producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg talk about their initial ideas for the Sorority Rising, the traps they avoided in making their first sequel, and the big differences between the first film and Neighbors 2.
• The Prodigal Bros Return - The not so beloved brothers of Delta Psi return... for a day. We hear from Dave Franco, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jerrod Carmichael and Zac Efron about their day on set while they catch us up on where they've been since the end of Neighbors.
• Girls Rule - Neighbors 2 has added a new threat to Mac and Kelly's household in the form of the Kappa Nu women. Learn more about the experiences of the new women on set.
• The Ultimate Tailgate - A behind-the-scenes look at the tailgate sequence.
• Feature Commentary with Co-writer/director Nicholas Stoller and Producer James Weaver
The first few moments of “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” should tell you all you need to know about the movie. We have Kelly and Mac getting it on, only to be interrupted by Kelly throwing up all over Mac while proudly proclaiming that she’s pregnant. If you can handle that, then more power to you, otherwise be prepared for what you just witnessed. 93 minutes of digital vomit. Audio and video are solid for the release, as most modern blockbusters are, and the extras are actually quite well done. The only problem is that none of them can make up for actually having to watch the movie. Run in sheer terror.
Starring: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Chloe Grace Moretz, Zac Efron
Directed by: Nicholas Stoller
Written by: Andrew Jay Cohen, Brendan O'Brien
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, Spanish, French DTS 5.1
Runtime: 93 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: September 20th, 2016
Buy Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: No, Just No
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