There’s usually a stigma around sequels. Some fail and some succeed. In this case, Neighbors 2 did not disappoint. What could Neighbors 2 do differently than what they already covered in the first one? Well, for starters, the movie focuses on a sorority rather than a fraternity. And aside from all the drugs, partying, and typical college scenes you’d see in any movie, the continuing theme for this movie was feminism, sexism, and sisterhood.
For those of you who haven’t gotten the chance to watch Neighbors, here’s a quick summary: Two years ago, Mac Radner (Seth Rogen) and Kelly Radner (Rose Byrne) were freshly new parents to their daughter, Stella. Living in a suburban area, nothing seemed wrong with their lives, until a fraternity decides to move in next door and all hell breaks lose. They go in an epic war against the leaders of the fraternity, Teddy Sanders (Zac Efron) and Pete Regazolli (Dave Franco). Eventually, the fraternity and the house come to an end due to breaking a three-strike warning with their school.
Fast forward two years later and we find Mac and Kelly learning that they’ll become new parents once again and planning to sell their house. They are on a 30-day escrow with the new buyers which means anyone can back out from buying the house if they see something they don’t like. Seems easy, right? Not until we meet Shelby (Chloë Grace Moretz), who comes up with an idea to create her own dream sorority, Kappa Nu, full of partying on their own conditions. This all came to fruition after she noticed how degrading women were portrayed when she attended a nearby frat party.
With the help of Beth (Kiersey Clemons) and Nora (Beanie Feldstein), the three teens wreak absolute havoc in the house. Mac and Kelly attempt to let them know to keep it down for at least thirty days, but that was a no go. You can guess what’s next: war between the two houses. One house trying to keep everything spick and span so they could move into their new house, and another house trying to live free of restrictions.
I didn’t join any sorority when I was in college, but this movie seemed to have hit all the major points on the head. Sure, it didn’t portray fraternities and sororities in the best light, but you cannot argue with the fact girls in college are sometimes seen more as property rather than actual human being. The ladies of Kappa Nu knew this right away and were against experiencing the huge double standard in the Greek system and in their daily life. Basically, if a guy did something barbaric, it’s OK. If a girl did it, that’s another story and it’s crossing the lines. The movie even touched on the ridiculous themed parties frats usually host: “[insert any word here] and hoes.”
With all comedic jokes and bits aside, the movie was more of a group of teenage girls fighting to be seen as equivalent to teenage boys. They wanted to show they can have fun and party too without needing to dress slutty for almost every function or needing to act a certain “proper” way since they’re girls. In my opinion, this movie kicked ass pushing that point forward the entire movie.
I remember reading an interview with Moretz stating she picks her roles based on the script. When I first saw Chloë on the poster and even in the trailer, I was so confused as to why she would be in this movie. Everything makes sense now. Although I felt a bit awkward watching her act in some scenes because Chloë just doesn’t strike me as your typical badass druggie as she portrayed in the movie, she made a great sorority leader. I mean, it’s nice to fall back on if acting doesn’t work out. But, it looks like she’s doing quite alright in that area.
And Zac Efron? Well, since college is done and over with, his character is in that uneasy time after school where you’re trying to figure out what to do with your life (AKA every student ever). At first, he helped Chloë’s character build up the sorority from the bottom up as sort of a revenge against Kelly and Mac. However, after a few disagreements with the girls, Teddy decides to switch sides to shut everything down. I don’t know why, but Zac Efron will always be good at playing a douchey character. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or bad thing…
Overall, the hijinks, one liners, and the entire script made this movie live up to the approved movie sequel club.
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Why You Should See ‘Neighbors 2’: Image courtesy of Universal Pictures