Wednesday 27 August 2014

Film Review: The Inbetweeners 2

Everyone's favourite bus wankers are back for second spell on the big screen - and this time, Will, Jay, Neil and Simon are knee-deep in clunge Down Under. Full of sun, sea and lots of sex, The Inbetweeners 2 is a fun continuation of the series - if you're a fan. 

With our four 'fwiends' having gone their separate ways after the last movie, they're reunited for another trip abroad when Jay sends them a video bragging about his awesome life in Australia.

Cue shed loads of Australian antics populated with stereotypes. I'm not kidding: all manner of cliches are thrown around in just the opening montage, which comes in the form of a video message from Jay recounting one of his classic bullshit stories to the lads - bikini-clad girls, boomerangs, koalas - you name it, it's in there. It's completely ripping the piss, but the inventive way in which this sequence is stitched together - switching from the beach to the bush and Jay's babe-filled 'mansion' - is very funny, and much of the credit here must go to the comedic ability of James Buckley, who once again plays the character brilliantly.

However, the lovably dim-witted Neil (Blake Harrison) also has some brilliant moments. And so does Simon (Joe Thomas). And Will (Simon Bird). Ah, who am I kidding, they're all great! Once again, it's surprising how funny and relatable each of the characters are, even if they've become exaggerated cartoons of their former selves. That being said, Will was very one-note in this film, once again hopelessly infatuated with a girl and determined to do what he can to impress her. Just like the first film. And the TV show. Yawn.

It's actually Jay that gets the lion's share of storyline, with his quest to reunite with Jane and prove his bully of a father wrong forming the backbone of the film's more serious moments. Of which there are only a few, so let's not dress it up as anything more than a thin attempt at being straight-faced.

And I must say: as a Brit living in Australia, this film absolutely nails the kind of things Brits say and do, and visa versa. The gag about drop bears had be clutching my sides. In terms of these silly cultural gags, the script his gold. Even wacky offbeat jokes - like Neil mistaking the Sydney Opera House for an alien spaceship - hark back to the original show's vibe.

There are some pretty quotable moments - "Grow up!", "briefcase banter" and "I don't lose!" - which are akin to the kind of stuff from the show that got audiences endless reciting. Speaking of which, there is plenty of colourful language peppered throughout the script for the foursome to wrap their tongues around. Fans of the show will delight in the massive amount of swearing and inventive synonyms for all thing sex the boys bounce back and forth.

Sorry, not sorry
In true Inbetweeners fashion, head writers and directors Damon Beesley and Iain Morris throw in some cringe inducing moments to make audiences squirm - a truly awful camp fire serenade from Will for example. And would it really be the Inbetweeners without some truly disgusting, "oh-my-god did that just happen" moments - a scene involving a water slide and some poo...yeah, you get the picture.

I found that some jokes pushed the boundaries of what I personally found funny - a rape or pedophilia joke here or there - but then again, what did I expect? The show is notorious for shocking audiences and this latest film is no different. On the whole, I had a good time laughing along at the characters with whom I'm familiar, but I doubt there is much here to appeal to newbies. The film works best as a continuation of the show (it isn't stand-alone) and fans will no doubt get a lot more out of it. A surprise cameo from Mr Gilbert is a good example of this.

One character that I didn't like was Katie, as played by Emily Berrington. She was just supremely irritating, and really started to grind after the first half of the movie. There were also a couple of adult characters staying at the hostel that I didn't really laugh at - mainly because they played no role of actual significance.

The story also slows right down once the gang leave the water park - their jaunt into the Outback feels like a stretched-out after thought. The film worked best when it stuck to familiar, suburban territory. Also, I felt the film's ending was fairly weak. It felt like less of a conclusive, wrapped-up ending than the first, and more like just another instalment in a series. The film started and ended nowhere, leaving the whole thing feeling a bit inconsequential - nothing much changes for the characters when the credits eventually roll. Shame.

The Verdict: 5.5/10

In the words of Jay himself, The Inbetweeners 2 is "bonza - which is Australian for fucking brilliant". At least, in fits and bursts. It isn't perfect, and some set pieces stood out more than others. I think that fans of the show and previous film will have a whale of a time, but I can't imagine the crass humour or characters gelling with new audiences.


  1. Great review as always :) I think we share opinions on this one. Minus a few moments with the new characters, I thought the film was good right up until the outback scene, and then it just sorta flopped. A real shame!
    - Allie

    1. Thanks Allie :) Part of me wishes they'd left it with just the first movie, at least the ending was conclusive! :) Ahh well, still had some good laughs in this one. Thanks for commenting!



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