With Neighbors 2 opening last week in several territories overseas, the first wave of reviews from the trades and mostly UK and Australian publications have been published.
Overall, the reviews are pretty good. Some think the sequel is even better than the original, some like it about the same and some think it doesn't entirely live up to its predecessor but it clearly is no critical disaster like many comedy sequels at all. The vast majority of the reviews really like the social commentary the film engages in.
Due to the addition of more characters, it's now more of an ensemble film now and consequently many reviews don't go into the individual performances. The reviews that do comment on Zac, generally like or love his performance, there are really only a few meh reviews (included below to be fair, having to do with his character not really his work) and zero negative reviews so far (a first for him I think).
Here is what reviewers so far had to say about Zac:
Zac Efron's faded fratboy lends unexpected poignancy to this raucous, unexpectedly of-the-moment comedy sequel.
Still, while a subtly clawed Chloë Grace Moretz proves a worthy new foil, it’s Zac Efron’s tragicomic anatomy of a dudebro that remains this series’ sharpest asset.
So it’s a neat trick that its most vacant figure has somehow become its most touching: Efron, a gifted comic performer who has learned to wield his unblemished physical beauty as a kind of punchline, plays dumb with deadpan elegance (“There’s no ‘I’ in sorority,” he enthuses, with perfect conviction), but also a hint of echoing desperation. Perhaps, after all its provocative muddling of identity politics, this messy but lively sequel does come down on the side of the handsome straight white male — but if so, it’s a pity vote at best.