The Inbetweeners Movie 2 – review
With the first cinematic instalment of The Inbetweeners smashing all manner of box office records in the United Kingdom, it was always incredibly likely there would be a follow-up. And so, just as horny, just as crude and just as hopeless, the foursome (Simon Bird, James Buckley, Blake Harrison and Joe Thomas) return for another adventure.
The 2012 movie offered a decent blend of humour and heart, so the writers have adhered to the notion of not fixing something which isn’t broken. New film, same premise. Although, in The Inbetweeners Movie 2, rather than heading to Crete, the boys are going further afield, to Australia. With Jay already over there on a gap year, the East Coast is set to take a pounding as – bored with their humdrum lives in Blighty – Will, Neil and Simon join their chum to do some backpacking in “the sex capital of the world”.
While the first film’s narrative was incredibly simple – four boys trying to score on holiday – this sequel isn’t quite as coherent. It pulls in different directions, touches on a few ideas that it never really follows through and rather limps over the finish line. However, while it feels a little messier, there are probably more laugh-out-loud moments here – genuine belly laughs – not least Will’s experience at a water park, which was like watching the ending of The Way Way Back going very, very wrong.
The backpacking vibe is brilliantly recreated too. The musty dorms, the rich white kids with dreadlocks pretending to be poor, the fact that – no matter how travelled and spiritual everyone pretends to be – all anyone really wants is a root. And Australia looks great too, from the iconic Opera House to the dusty, unforgiving Outback.
Mainly though, the film works well because, deep down, it has heart. Detractors who claim misogyny are perhaps missing the point. Yes, these boys use frequent and gross sex terminology but the film captures this pathetic teenage bravado very well without championing it. At no point are the characters ever portrayed as cool or as role models, but rather they are utterly tragic. Also, the sexual references, the poo, wee and willy gags work because they are counterbalanced by the fact that, just like in the first outing, it is ultimately a film about friendship and learning valuable life lessons.
To put it simply, if you didn’t enjoy the first film, then don’t go anywhere near this. If you did like it though, then there is plenty of pleasure to be had spending another 96 minutes in the company of these four absolute losers.
Review by Bobby Townsend