In what is, essentially, a pale comparison and copycat film to it’s hilarious original hit film, Rogan and Bryne are back as “old guys” Mac and Kelly Radner, who now have an adorable 3-year-old daughter, with another one the way. Their house is in a 30-day escrow (with another home already purchased), but they’ve hit a major snag. The empty ex-frat house next door has just been bought by a trio of college girls who want to open their own party sorority house.
Shelby (Chloe Grace Moretz) can’t stand that sororities are forbidden to throw parties, so she is determined to end that tradition with the help of her two Kappa Nu sisters; always happy Beth (Kiersey Clemons) and crazy/rotund Nora (Beanie Feldstein–trying to be an American version of Rebel Wilson). Problem is, they’ve got to raise major bank to keep their house. That’s when Teddy Sears (Efron) shows up after being kicked out of his apartment. He offers the girls the frat-smarts of how to keep their house in the black with parties and pledge dues, much to the ire of Mac and Kelly. . . again!
So the war is on with The Girls vs The ‘old guys’ Next Door in an ever increasing game of “can you top this?”, while Mac and Kelly desperately try and hide the truth from the new buyers. Calling in Shelby’s father (Kelsey Grammer in a great cameo) fails, a bed-bug attack is only a minor inconvenience, and a talk with the college dean (Lisa Kudrow, another great cameo) doesn’t help. Soon the girls decide to sell weed at a major tailgate event to make money, prompting Teddy to switch sides and join Mac and Kelly, along with their friends Jimmy (Ike Barinholtz) and Paula (Carla Gallo), to steal their weed and shut them down for good.
After more hijinks and set-backs, Shelby decides she must do the unthinkable: throw a huge Kappa Nu party and open it up to loathsome frat boys to make money, much to her other sisters dismay. But this only leads to anarchy within the sisterhood and a really dumb ending that has a truly epic deus ex machina conclusion that just leaves you shaking your head in disbelief.
A whopping five writers (!!!) are credited with the screenplay (Andrew J. Cohen, Brendan O’Brien, Nicholas Stoller, Seth Rogen, and Evan Goldberg) and even THEY couldn’t save this occasionally funny movie. Besides the huge plot holes, it’s filled with F-bombs galore, gross-out jokes that include used tampons and dangling body parts, and blatant Universal Studios Despicable Me ‘minions’ in human form, trying oh-so hard to garnish laughs wherever it could. There were a few truly hilarious scenes that popped up here and there (you probably saw them in the movie trailer), but not enough to sustain the entire movie. A running gag with Kelly’s pink dildo as a toy for her little girl is one of the funniest.
Nicholas Stoller’s wishy-washy direction is all over the map here with either bad camera set-ups, alot of stedi-cam movements, and way too many amateur generic shots. He directed the original Neighbors with more vigor, so what happened here? Also, just for fun, check out the movie’s trailer: it contains alternate shot scenes not shown in the movie that should have been! Example: Nora going through Mac’s car windshield is treated as a quick aside in the movie, but lengthened (and looks SO much better) in the trailer! Go figure!