After The Inbetweeners Movie it seemed as though the gang of puerile English lads were done, but they’re back with The Inbetweeners 2. And after a hugely successful first film, to the tune of $86 million at the box office, who can blame them.
But The Inbetweeners 2 should come with a warning; if you didn’t like the TV show or the first movie then stay clear. It’s not that it’s bad, far from it but you either like this particular brand of dick, fart, poop and sex jokes or you don’t, so if you don’t then avoid, like the plague. Because The Inbetweeners are like a perfectly timed piece of flatulence when you were having an exam at school. You know you shouldn’t laugh but, in spite of your better senses, it’s near impossible not to. That may sound like a criticism of The Inbetweeners but it’s not, after all what better way to lighten the mood than a genuine bit of comedy, even if it is the sort of comedy your gran would be appalled by.
This time out the lads are heading to Australia. You see Jay (James Buckley) has sent them an email claiming he’s living the high-life down-under and cleaning up with all the ladies. So, with nothing better to do Will (Simon Bird), Simon (Joe Thomas) and Neil (Blake Harrison) travel to Sydney only to find Jay working as a bathroom attendant in a club. Thankfully Will runs into former child-crush Katie (Emily Berrington) who is planning a trip to Byron Bay so the lads saddle up for an adventure.
Nothing has really changed with The Inbetweeners, they’re still the same group of idiots they were when we first met them back in 2008 but would you want them any other way? Creators Damon Beesley and Iain Morris, who have graduated from writing the first film to writing and directing this one, stick to the theory that if it isn’t broken don’t fix it.
The humour is crass, often juvenile but it hits more often than it misses thanks to the now seemingly natural chemistry the cast have together. So for every poo chasing Will down a water slide moment – it’s considerably funnier than it sounds – the real magic happens when the gang are all having “bants” with each other. Yes the plot is almost none-existence and certainly begins to rapidly fall away in the third act but as long as the boys are back the fun remains.
Bird’s Will continues to be the stick-in the-mud of the group, his inability to keep his arrogant intelligence to himself continually being both his downfall and aphrodisiac to the women. What we learn here is that Bird has the most brilliantly entertaining singing-voice imaginable, his rendition of Roberta Flack’s The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face is easily one of this year’s funniest scenes. Buckley is still annoyingly arrogant but ultimately desperate for attention as Jay while Harrison is always loveable as Neil, his scene with a dolphin offering another highlight. Joe Thomas meanwhile seems to have honed his sarcastic streak thanks to his role in Fresh Meat. His Simon has lost some of the bumbling Hugh Grant routine and replaced it with an almost mean-streak which is entertainingly welcome.
It’ll make you cringe, it’ll make you question your own maturity but the reality is The Inbetweeners 2 is laugh-out-loud funny and there are too few films that achieve that.