Monday, 1 September 2014

Review: The Inbetweeners 2

(2014) Simon Bird, James Buckley, Blake Harrison, Joe Thomas

I may be slightly biased on this review as I am a big fan of the show and loved the first film, but here goes...
If you're reading this chances are you are already an Inbetweeners fan or have had some exposure to the show and it's characters.
The 4 lads have now been through quite a lot together, having left school, jetted off their first holiday together and are now either in employment or attending separate universities. The film opens with a very Potter-esque beginning as we find Will has dragged Simon and Neil along for a weekend stay at his university. The 3 show up at what was meant to be a fancy dress party all dressed as Harry Potter characters (Neil making for a hilarious Hermione) but sadly find everyone else didn't get the fancy dress memo...
With spirits lowered the boys then receive a text message from the groups resident prankster Jay, he is spending 6 months in Australia with his estranged Uncle and wants the lads to pay him a visit.
This text gives way to a hilarious scene of Jay describing what Australia has instore for them and what he has been upto. This cleverly filmed one shot sequence really highlights the larger budget of this second film as jay fill the 3 in on his various 'conquests' basically a huge pack of lies as always! With some hesitation and Will's promise of a 'back packing vibe' the lads set off to reunite the group once more.
They reunited most of the old cast from the first film and series including, the parents and a few more old favourites. One big surprise was the inclusion of Simon's holiday romance from the first film, Lucy. The surprise though is how much they completely flipped her character on it's head having gone from a fairly normal girl to a completely rude, vile control freak within what seems like months in the stories timeline. This felt like a feeble attempt at shoe[horning in a 'nagging' girlfriend type of trope which i couldn't have been more bored by. Jay's love interest Jane makes a brief appearance too, and I mean so brief you could blink and miss her, which is a shame because she was the most likeable female lead from the previous film.
Now i'm not much of a comedy fan but The Inbetweeners 2 had me laughing from start to finish, not chuckles either but genuine belly laughs! This film definitely pushed the envelope in terms of humour and i was a little surprised at what they actually allowed into the cinema version. There is a lot to be offended by in this film, but it's its delivery is what makes it hit you with a ping of good intent. Many other films will throw an offensive quip in there for shock value but this delivers with a bit more wit and an underlying playful vibe. There is still casual racism, terrible mysogeny and a touch of animal cruelty but nothing felt forced. All gags were delivered in classic style by the 4 leads, there is one scene involving a waterslide and Neil's irritable bowel which I will not be forgetting in a hurry!
The film isn't all about the laugh though, there is a real sense of coming of age and an end of an era vibe. The film really hits a serious note at the end which made me realise just how much Iv'e grown to love and care about these 4 characters over the years I had spent with them. The first film was meant to be the big send off for the lads, but the second was made thanks to the sheer success of the original. Although it pushes the limits of what the cast and director could get away with it still didn't feel quite as strong a send off as the original did. This film is best enjoyed with a group of friends, as I am sure we all know a 'Neil' or a 'Jay' and this is put simply a short, sweet, offensive and very funny 90 minutes.


The lads have done it again, bringing us another hilarious, shocking and extremely quotable second feature film. Although the send off isn't as strong as the original and there are some slight character issues there is still a great time to be had here, just don't watch it with your Mum.


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