In Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, the sequel to 2014's old-people-vs.-frat-brothers comedy, Zac Efron takes off his shirt in nearly every scene he's in. It's a sight to behold -- again and again and again, but a calculated effort, like most of this film, to appeal to the ladies. As surprising as it seems for an R-rated comedy made by many men, it totally succeeds on that front, and many others. College friends Shelby (Chloë Grace Moretz) and her new pals Beth (Kiersey Clemons) and Nora (Beanie Feldstein) take off to smoke weed in their dorm room and hatch a plan to start their own sorority, Kappa Nu. Meanwhile, the inept/typical parents/adults from Neighbors, Kelly (Rose Byrne) and Mac (Seth Rogen), think they're in the clear: The frat next door, along with Teddy (Efron) and his brothers, is long gone, and Kelly and Mac have bought a new house, anyway, and sold the old one. Unfortunately, they don't know what "escrow" means and discover they have to keep up appearances on their old house just when Shelby's makeshift sorority opens up with one objective: to party on their own terms.
And party they do. A hilarious montage showcases the sorority sisters' a capella karaoke soirees and The Fault in Our Stars cryfests. Still, with so many women in the cast, the door's open for new avenues of gross-out humor, and the complexity of feminism for young girls today is displayed with rare hilarity and insight. Nobody captures the spirit better than Shelby's father, played by an alarmingly perfect Kelsey Grammer: "You get to be just as dumb as the boys are now?" Yes. And it's all they ever wanted.