I must be regressing in age, because I generally don’t like raunchy comedies, and I’ve liked two in the last two weeks: Popstar, and now Neighbors 2, the raunchy sequel to the raunchy 2014 hit starring Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne and an often shirtless Zac Efron. I mean, it won’t come anywhere near winning an Oscar or anything, but for whatever reason I found myself laughing at its crude humor.
Last time, Rogen and Byrne bought their first house and dealt with the horror of a college fraternity, led by Efron, being right next door. Now, on the verge of selling their house, Rogen and Byrne face off against a sorority, established by Chloë Moretz with help from an aimless Efron, that moves into the former fraternity home.
Per usual with raunch-coms (or just about any movie featuring Rogen), the film is filled with jokes about sex, bongs, weed and children playing with… ahem… adult toys. We also get a scene, seen from behind — so we don’t get full exposure — of Efron purposely letting loose his… uh… man stuff in front of a tailgating crowd.
Rogen and Byrne help temper the bawdy humor, though, partly, I think, because of how they play their well-meaning characters as people who are perhaps just grown-up enough to function in society. They’re both somewhat immature, and just a little naive, the most amusing example of this being when their real estate agent must explain escrow to them.
They’re also considered to be “old people” by the younger characters in the film, so I can relate to their kids-these-days attitude. Even Efron, all of 28, considers himself old here, and directionless, which gives him something interesting to do besides strutting around without a shirt. As the other major younger character, Moretz makes for a surprisingly funny dumb-but-not-completely-clueless person.
Perhaps the best thing about the film is that it doesn’t feel forced or contrived, since its parent had a premise that lent itself to a sequel. And this is a textbook sequel — same as the original film, only different, girls, instead of boys, wreaking havoc. And while you can tell how it’s all going to end up, you’ll still laugh at Rogen and Efron’s ill-advised airbag antics. – [DVD]
DVD Release Date: 9/20/16