This is the third in a series of blogs I’ve called “A Year of Unlimited”, which isn’t perhaps the catchiest way to put it, but encapsulates my attempts to blog about every film I see while I’m signed up to the Unlimited service. I’m not linking to every one, so go and find them yourselves!
Writing film reviews often means going into more detail than you expect when you begin, or bringing attention to different themes or choices that add depth to the movie. Essentially, you end up writing huge essay-style reviews – both of my previous reviews have got a little out of control – and you feel you have to talk about everything.
The Inbetweeners 2 is the anti-analysis movie. It defies detail or a deeper focus. It is hilarious, filthy and adds to the great comedies already released in 2014.
The four guys – Will, Simon, Jay and Neil – return in disgusting form, with the story just an excuse to get them to Australia and lampoon the “gap yaah” travelling stereotype, whilst at the same time taking some slightly more mature looks at growing up (and I mean slightly) than anything since the show’s final series.
Jay (James Buckley) is in Australia, and invites the others over to visit him – with a brilliant, you-could-only-do-it-on-film scene featuring every stereotype of our Down Under cousins – and before you can say “FOOTBALL FWEND” the other three – Will (Simon Bird), Simon (Joe Thomas) and Neil (Blake Harrison) – use student loan money to jet over. As the marginally more sensible duo, Will and Simon are escaping from differently awful university experiences, whilst everyone’s favourite idiot just tags along for the hell of it. Excruciating and gross-out stuff follows as standard.
I felt the film was actually crueller – the show was always targeted at showing you how pathetic the four were – and this movie undoes all the “growing up” they did in the first movie (getting girlfriends, basically) and at times really sticks the knife in for some cringeworthy, amazing scenes (almost the entirety of their trip to a water park in particular). This is probably due to the guys who created the show – Damon Beesley and Iain Morris – directing and writing, and it really takes aim, after the “MALIA WOO” mockery in the first film, at upper-class travelling kids “finding themselves” in Asia, with some surprising plot turns.
The four guys remain good at what they do – with Buckley’s Jay showing, at times, that he might actually be starting to realise he’s totally full of shit – and Will’s pomposity and general rage, alongside Simon and Neil’s varying levels of gormlessness, remain as funny as ever. For sheer, consistent laughter, Neil continues to dominate though, especially at the water park. The directors make Australia look like a sunswept paradise, and the comedy is staged – at times – in blockbuster style, giving the film a little extra over the show’s TV-budget look.
There’s only really one other character of note – Will’s former school mate and object of attraction, Katie – played by Emily Berrington (recently of 24: Live Another Day). Like the other women featured during the show and the previous film, she’s a target of attraction (for Will), but this film cleverly subverts that in a way I didn’t expect. Old favourites make a reappearance, and some characters from the first film turn up, with one great cameo as well getting most of the laughs.
If they were to make a third film – and they can do what they want after making almost £5 million in one night in the UK on the first day of release – I have absolutely no idea what it might be (a Vegas stag do a la The Hangover?) but I’d definitely be there, laughing and cringing at the same time.
Next: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For OR The Expendables 3