8 August 2014
THE INBETWEENERS 2- Review
While the first film brought things to an all too neat conclusion, (read and watch how not-right about that I was here) the sequel picks up with Will, Simon and Neil six months later, pondering how things haven't turned out how they hoped. Conversely, all appears to be grand for serial exaggerator Jay, who has moved to Australia and claims to have made it big as a DJ. When the other three decide to visit him over the Easter holidays, they wind up on a typically ridiculous adventure from Sydney to the Outback.
Sitcom characters are typically built to snap back to their original state at the end of every episode and so it's difficult to grow characters out of that when moving from TV to the big screen. For The Inbetweeners 2, series creators Beesley and Morris have the success of the first film behind them, and this time it's given them the advantage of making a film without the presumption that this is going to be their only chance to do it with these characters. The result is immediately more assured and ambitious, without necessarily reinventing the wheel. If anything, it's truer to the TV version because it's not an idealised conclusion to character arcs that never really existed in the series.
It's hard to write about good comedy without spoiling the best jokes, so it's worth paying lip service to the fact that this is very funny, with some gut-busting gags and setpieces and an impressively well judged line in gross-out humour. The ubiquity of the series must leave the four leads' agents feeling worried about typecasting by now, particularly as they all still pass for undergraduates as they approach their 30s, but the films have given them a bit more of an opportunity to showcase their acting. Simon Bird, James Buckley, Blake Harrison and Joe Thomas have all grown in these roles and the script alternately rewards their development with great gags and punishes them with particularly nasty setpieces.
In short, the lack of pretension about converting new audiences allows it to excel in playing to its strengths. At the same time, there are niggles here and there. There are references back to the previous film, with the girlfriends they met in Malia having variously left them or in Simon's case, turned nasty, as part of the film's unfortunate tenacity for basketcase female characters. There are also some well observed jabs at trust fund kids who go travelling and dub themselves as "spiritual", but it veers on getting away from the fact that these guys are the biggest idiots on screen, which is still easier to sustain over half an hour than 100 minutes.
The Inbetweeners 2 is now showing in cinemas nationwide.
If you've see The Inbetweeners 2, why not leave a comment below? No, it's not as funny as Guardians of the Galaxy, but there is an argument that Neil is the Inbetweeners' Groot.
I'm Mark the mad prophet, and until next time, don't watch anything I wouldn't watch.