Saturday, 7 May 2016
REVIEW: NEIGHBORS 2-SORORITY RISING
92 Mins. Starring: Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Bryne, Chloe Grace Moretz, Dave Franco & Selena Gomez. Director: Nicholas Stoller.
Next door but one. Unless you live in a cabin in the woods or a mansion on the hill then we all have 'Neighbors'. And look over your lawn with disapproval all you want but everyone needs 'Bad Neighbors 2'. And this time its the 'Sorority Rising' with a bunch of girls gone wild, spring breakers in need of a James Franco...or at least his younger brother Dave to 'rise' to the occasion again. But never fear he's here again in a nostalgic role call of classic cameos, from Hannibal Buress under arrest, beat cop, to a jacked up Christopher Mintz-Plasse in this new generations 'Superbad', looking like he's been McLovin the weight room. With everyones favourite 'Friends' star Lisa Kudrow to another surprise star from a fellow 90's sitcom sensation. But more of a surprise than Franco et al's "hey it's me" appearances is his character turn that leaves this usually balls out gross comedy with its second moral message that is just as heartwarming as it is important. Yep...that's right the same comedy franchise that now joins the 'Waynes World' ranks of having dual hits (excellent!), that featured Franco "boning up" on demand rises above it all. Showing and proving that this guilt-less pleasure post-teen spirit of beer pong and red cups has more than wood.
Borrowing one more cup of sugar, next door to their original classic, our 'Neighbors' Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne just can't catch a break...or a nights sleep. Even in escrow. But this will leave you laughing for 30 days straight like these kids like to party...WOW that sounded old didn't it?! Zac Efron's Frat Pack may be gone, but this address is still marked with Greek letters as there is a sorority on the rise and these girls led by the 'Kick Ass' Chloe Grace-Moretz (who used the 'C' word before her sweet sixteenth birthday) are anything but 'High School Musical'...think more like the last time we saw Selena Gomez (in a cool cameo here herself) on screen alongside Vanessa Hudgens. Now our favourite stoner and band t-shit family that have gone from Cypress Hill to Matchbox (they wish they were still) Twenty, forming a neighborhood alliance with a former "frenemy" have a month to stop the chug, chug and weed cookouts from smoking them out and losing their house...again. Sure it's the same cocktail...but with a whole new chaser. Besides everyone loves their drink of choice...especially with a twist. And this perfect premise with plenty more potential and promise results in more classic comedy from the spark and spunk of 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall'/'Get Him To The Greek' double act director 'Nicholas Stoller. From the classic character conflict one man and up(wo)manship (and airbags...oh so many more airbags), to the poster parody of the biggest film of the year Marvel's 'Captain America-Civil War' that it's about to trade hands with. But whose side are you on?
Choose Seth Rogen! Forget Steve Rogers! Forget the Ferrell Frat Pack this is the new King Of Comedy that has been ruling the side of the box office that tickles ribs since way before the original animal frat house comedy. This is far from the end. The man who even managed to air the most controversial 'Interview' like a comedic Frost/Nixon won't stop "pass it, pass it" laughing his way to the highest spot. He even knows how to bring the good tidings with last years 'The Night Before' Chistmas comedy that even offended Christ and he's about to give Pixar a run for their family friendly Pixels with a 'Sausage Party' for all the weeners. Thankfully it's not just a schnitzel fest here, but Rogen is still the star on peak form, never receding like Rogaine. Alongside his wonderful wife played by the blooming Rose Byrne, who with this and a 'First Class' return to the 'X-Men' franchise series looks to be ruling the Summer box office and trailer roll once again like when she was a 'Bridesmaid'. But here facing a pack of little women more lethal than a bunch of Bridezillas the Australian faces a real Apocalypse. They're going to need a bigger steamboat partier and who better than Zac Efron? The protein packed pretty boy turned Channing Tatum good has had a lot to deal with from meatier roles ('The Paperboy' with McConaughey and...erm the forthcoming 'Baywatch' reboot with The Rock...the only man to make young Zac look like a piece of flint (I mean have you seen the 'Fast and Furious' films? He even makes Vin Diesel look like a pebble)), to Robert De Niro's crude and crass 'Bad (but oh so good) Grandpa' but he's still willing to vault over a barbecue in his speedos with a sack of skunk. I wonder if Bobby talked to you about that impression party from the first film Zac?! Either way you've never left our circle of trust. Still a sequel always needs more in character and concept and the perfect catalyst for this comedy and conflict is the always dynamite Chloe Grace Moretz on best newcomer franchise form. The fun fuse of her young years burning in effervescent energy before our eyes. The 'Kick Ass' comic book face trading card has grown up a lot from the dark bruised soul of the 'Taxi Driver' esque support in 'The Equalizer' to the sum of more than just some college comedy here. Behind the big numbers made here behind the countless gags is actually a film that has a message of feminism delivered like a punch, not slap in the face for anyone who thought they were going to receive this as casually as a phoned in tweet text. Tag that! This film has a lot to say about young women and their freedom beyond the control of old people world, fossilized social constraints and much more worse controlling pressures. Coming of age it's about damn time. And that rising stand Neighbors is everything but bad. TIM DAVID HARVEY.