Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Is Surprisingly Empowering

Walking into Seth Rogen’s latest comedy, I expected to see weed, slapstick humor and bodily malfunctions. I was right to think so. What I didn’t expect to see was the film put down the men’s rights movement for its stupidity, shine light on the sexism within the Greek system, and emphasize the importance of sisterhood.

It was refreshing.

I cannot compare Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising to its predecessor because I have not seen the first film. Frankly, for these types of films you don’t have to. But I was impressed by how easy it was to enjoy this film and its characters despite obvious flaws. While Neighbors 2 isn’t worth multiple viewings and may be forgettable, it does its job of keeping audiences laughing and entertained.

With a second child on the way, Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) are trying to sell their old home. When a sorority moves in next door, however, their task suddenly becomes near impossible. After several failed attempts to convince the sorority to keep the parties to a minimum until they have secured their sale, Mac and Kelly have to once again go to war with their neighbors.

Could the war have been avoided entirely? Yes, but where is the fun in that? With a hilarious cast that has great chemistry, audiences won’t mind the plot holes. Rogen and Byrne are delightful to watch together and Zac Efron manages to make his dudebro more lovable than annoying. As for the sorority girls, Kiersey Clemons and Beanie Feldstein will leave audiences wishing there was more time spent on them and less on Chloe Moretz.

What differentiates this comedy from others is its message. As absurd as some of the film’s shenanigans are, Neighbors 2 makes sure to let audiences know that such a level of absurdity does not compare to the ridiculous sexism young women face. In a genre that is dominated by the male perspective, Neighbors 2 offers young women a chance to call out problematic behavior within comedies and college life. Although the message could have been more organically told in some scenes, it is a message that needs to be heard nonetheless.

Neighbors 2 is somewhat predictable but that surprisingly does not take away from the satisfaction audiences get by watching it. Rather, it makes the overall experience even more lighthearted. This is a film to see when you want to have a good laugh and not think too hard.

With its conclusion, Neighbors 2 offers a definitive end to the series. Due to the small chance that this will be the last time this cast works together, I recommend this as the movie to see this weekend.

 Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising was released May 20, 2016.