6 out of 10
This one really came out of nowhere, an unnecessary return for the lads after they started to see a dip in form with a slightly forced third season and a just-okay first movie. Fortunately, it’s pretty good.
Neil, Simon, Jay and Will return as the cringe-worthily pathetic gang on a further pursuit for girls and growing up. When Jay encourages them to join him on a bag packing holiday in Australia, they are plunged into the usual madness and utter hilarity of situations that might happen but in reality probably never ever would.
The performances are solid, Baird and the rest all deliver their very distinct personalities to a tee and remain tremendously relatable throughout the entire movie was well as hilarious. To stay funny when the premise of the programme has been dragged on for a bit too long is no mean feat, and the Inbetweeners 2 definitely is funny.
For the most part, the script is sharply written but occasionally it lags. The movie throws in the best and the worst of the Inbetweeners. For example, any jokes about Will’s mam and any that encompass Jay’s creative imagination and use of vocabulary are as funny as ever. But the jokes, cinematography and general direction in other circumstances often stray too much into the ‘hollywood storytelling’ kind of vibe and at those parts, we’re taken as far away from the suitably low budget, perfectly average direction that encompassed the perfectly average nature of the main characters. That is what made them so funny in the first place… it is the title of the movie after all. It often feels like the increased budget from the popularity of the show is being shown off visually and pacing-wise throughout this. It doesn’t work that well. Reading online, many felt the film just overstepped the mark too often. I partly agree… faeces and spew in a water park might be funny to little kids or people with mental issues, but unfortunately the audience of the 15-Rated movie won’t really be made up of little kids or people with mental issues. The show and movies were funniest when the jokes were kept realistic and subtle. Everyone can relate to your mam jokes, few of us, I’d hope, can relate to having shit thrown in our faces. That being said, there’s more than enough laugh out loud good stuff here to push the movie easily up to 3 stars.
The movie earns its extra half a star when it attempts to be more than a comedy. It doesn’t do it all that well and, thankfully, doesn’t try to do it all that seriously or else it really would of fallen flat on its back by missing the point of the characters, but at least it does try to do it. The final act delivers suitable and hopefully final closure; a genuinely worrying situation for the boys and best of all, a sentimentally fitting display of friendship that has held them together through 3 seasons and 2 movies of screen time. These four a true representative, largely, of British teen life and that makes them refreshingly funny.
The cracks were beginning to show though, the characters beginning to be stretched, (especially Neil who steps back in this one rather than being the usual stand out performer,) and it is clear more now than ever that it’s time to say goodbye to the Inbetweeners for good before they become bad.
Funny, fitting and hopefully the end, The Inbetweeners 2 bows out from the brawl, albeit with a pair of shaky legs. Knee deep in entertaining clunge.