Two years ago, Neighbors dove deep into undergraduate exploits, with its portrait of Zac Efron’s boozy-druggy Greek life disrupting Seth Rogen’s and Rose Byrne’s expectant suburban couple. Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising has a bigger budget, which means director Nicholas Stoller was able to explore a new corner of coed existence: The rampaging joy of the football tailgate.
“Mad Max was an inspiration,” says Stoller, in all seriousness, about the film’s big action set piece. “It is point one percent as awesome as anything in that movie,” he laughs. “It’s a crazy chase. It’s all really smoky. There’s a post-apocalyptic vibe to the tailgate. There’s lots of smoke and fire.”
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Neighbors 2 finds freshman Chloë Grace Moretz creating a new party sorority, Kappa Nu. “The girls are trying to raise money to keep their house,” Stoller explains. “They decide what they’re going to do is corner the market on weed for a weekend. So they’re gonna buy a bunch of weed with their money, and they’re gonna rat out all the drug dealers in this college town, and then they’ll be able to sell weed at the tailgate.” The characters played by Rogen and Byrne – desperate to get the girls out of the house – seize on the opportunity to get the sorority kicked out. What ensues is, per Stoller, a “dumb heist.”
Neighbors 2 hits theaters May 20.