Thursday, May 19, 2016


Seth Rogen     Rose Byrne     Chloe Grace Moretz     Dave Franco     Selena Gomez

       Neighbors 2 is essentially the same as Neighbors (2014), except that gender stereotypes are even more pronounced, although the filmmakers try to promote women and gays in a more positive light toward the end, as if to make up for earlier scenes.  In earlier scenes women are shown as giggly, squeaking, sobbing uncontrollably at a sad show on television, and on and on.  They’re depicted as dumb (e.g., not knowing what ‘escrow’ is, not recognizing the implication of water breaking in a pregnancy, and immediately accepting of a man who appears authoritative to them and promises rescue).  Note that all the writers are male, so expect this to be a male fantasy with a few curbs just to be politically correct.
         Granted, men are portrayed as dumb and bumbling too (clueless about parenting, unable to pull off a heist) and prejudiced against gay men, but they’re also the ones with ideas and computational abilities.  Actually, the film for the most part is accepting of gays by portraying them more or less realistically.  I wish they had been as open-minded toward women.
        The first Neighbors chronicled the trauma of a young couple with a baby who is unlucky enough to have a fraternity move in next door (loud partying, mainly).  Things got partially resolved, and now that the couple is expecting another child, they want to sell their house and move somewhere else.  The problem is that just when they are getting close to finalizing the sale, a sorority moves in next door, which makes matters worse (Dontcha know—women are always worse than men!). 
          What follows is the same kind of one-upmanship that we saw in the first Neighbors, with ridiculous ideas turning slapstick bad.  The only time I really laughed was when a young person not knowing about landlines pulled the “old people’s” phone off the wall, not realizing it was attached. 
         Neighbors 2 is an excellent example of a film not needing a sequel, but filmmakers see the $$$ and do it anyway.  They recycle the same plot and jokes trying to refit it to be more politically correct (although they still don’t seem to be aware that the word “frat” is not really accepted in Greek communities at universities).  I didn’t hear too many laughs in the screening I attended with around 200 people.  Maybe it’s not so funny after all?

The not-funny-again sequel to the 2014 Neighbors.

Grade:  D                        By Donna R. Copeland

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