2014’s Neighbors was my favorite comedy that year and probably would have been a Tier 1 if I did rankings back then. The premise was simple: A fraternity vs the new parents that live next door. Zac Efron vs Seth Rogen. Millenials vs Gen X. The church of Michael Keaton vs the church of Christian Bale. The movie is hilarious and introduced America to Rose Byrne’s bonafide comedy chops.
Sequels are rarely on par with their predecessors, and this is especially true with comedies. It just doesn’t happen and Neighbors 2 fails to buck this trend. (Sidenote: The exceptions to the rule are weirdly the Mike Myers vehicles Wayne’s World 2 & Austin Powers 2. Yes, I think Wayne’s World 2 is a classic, what are you gonna do about it?) The premise is pretty much the same, only replacing the fraternity with a sorority. The generational hijinks are still funny, just not as funny as the first time you saw them two years ago. Clearly this movie introduces new characters in the sorority, but I was glad to see the frat antagonists from the first movie play a part. There’s also an interesting feminist tone that wasn’t apparent in 2014, however there has already been some backlash to the ideas presented given that this movie was written by five men. You can probably wait until it’s On Demand to see Neighbors 2, and if you missed the first Neighbors I highly recommend checking it out on HBO. Tier 4