Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Screenwriters: Andrew J. Cohen, Brendan O’Brien, Nicholas Stoller, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
Cast: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, ChloÃ« Grace Moretz, Dave Franco, Ike Barinholtz, Jerrod Carmichael, Hannibal Buress
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Rated R | 92 Minutes
Release Date: May 20, 2015
“This isn’t working! You’re only making them sexier!”
When you look at movies like Caddyshack II, The Hangover Part II, and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, one thing is clear: it’s damn near impossible to make a great comedy sequel. Why do these films pale in comparison to their predecessors? Is it because part of what makes comedy work in the first place is surprise, and by creating familiarity with a character or franchise, there’s less room for surprise? That’s certainly part of it.
That familiarity, however, is just a symptom of the cause of why comedy sequels often fail. Rarely are these films concerned with character development or story progression. It’s less about evolution and more about escalation. Characters remain largely unchanged while the emphasis is placed on making everything around them bigger and more outrageous. That’s what makes Nicholas Stoller‘s Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising so interesting. It looks like a rehash of the director’s 2014 film, but it’s a sneakily progressive movie that outsmarts its equally funny predecessor.
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