The last time we saw Will (Simon Bird), Simon (Joe Thomas), Jay (James Buckley), and Neil (Blake Harrison), they were jetting off on a manic group holiday to Malia, Crete where they guzzled fishbowls, chased girls, and somehow lucked out romantically.
Now, almost a year on from their last adventure, Jay is on his gap year in Australia, Will and Simon are at university, and Neil has a tedious office job.
When compulsive liar Jay writes home to his friends about his life in Sydney, which he dubs “the sex capital of the world”, claiming to be woken up by a “blowie” every morning by dirty Aussie girls, and employed a successful DJ called “DJ Big Penis”, the three friends decide to take a break from their mundane lives in order to go to Oz and hopefully get a piece of the action.
Needless to say, the trio quickly discover that Jay may have exaggerated just a tad about his luxury lad lifestyle and decide to travel around Australia in a bid to have the real-deal backpacking experience.
Once again, they put growing up temporarily on-hold as they embark on the backpacking holiday of a lifetime in an awful car, inspired by Peter Andre’s ‘Mysterious Girl’.
Will soon finds himself battling with the lads to do something cultural, whilst they focus their attention on drinking, girls, and annoying fellow travellers
The beauty of ‘The Inbetweeners’ television series was that people could relate to all four of the characters. The television series was and still is side-splittingly funny and it also possesses a certain cheeky charm. That charm was rather impressively translated into a cracking comedy with the first The Inbetweeners movie in 2011. Unfortunately; the same can’t be said for The Inbetweeners 2.
That’s not to say the movie is not without funny moments because it does have several but there’s virtually no attempt to make the world of Will, Simon, Jay and Neil up to date.
Will was always tolerable but in this instance his love of rigorous organisation and order feels worn out and annoying.
The best, and personally my favourite character of the whole lot, is Jay. He has been the one constant throughout the three series and the two movies and if it wasn’t for him I dread to think what the rest of the film would feel like.
Goody-two-shoes Simon is much more of a pedestrian here and whilst more attention is given to Neil his supposed lack of intelligence comes across as somewhat unbelievable.
It takes a while for the movie to get going but when it does it succeeds in getting a few laughs. But they were so few and far between that the audience were left as gormless as Neil for the most part.
There’s one scene about half-way through set in a water park that had me roaring with laughter like a cheeky child. Well that was before I realised that the gag was a classic, circa 2000 – Kevin & Perry Go Large.
Instead of feeling full of cheeky gags and filthy frolics The Inbetweeners 2 ends up feeling formulaic. I enjoy crude, rude and filthy humour as much as the next person but if when trying to achieve a certain level of laughter and all you attain is a plateau then maybe it’s time to stop making movies.
Unfortunately I think the four lads still have plenty of life left in them. If you consider the fact that the American Pie franchise made six films then I don’t see the “Pussy Patrol” stopping their tour any time soon.
The desperate quartet spend the first 90-odd minutes complaining about pretentious wankers with overbearing personalities and bedraggled hair, only to turn into said losers in the last 5 minutes. That my friends isn’t ironic, but very lazy storytelling.
If you want to see a half-baked version of the first movie then go ahead. Otherwise I wouldn’t bother I’ve had farts with more depth.
By Ruth Walker