Breaking records as the biggest comedy release, taking an impressive £2.75 million at the box office, The Inbetweeners are clearly as popular as ever.
Supposedly (but probably not) the final chapter in the series, The Inbetweeners 2 up-roots the action from Britain to Australia as Will, Simon and Neil travel half way across the world to surprise their other best friend, Jay.
Promised luxury accommodation and women on tap, what the boys actually get is a tent in a garden with not a woman in sight. That is until Katie, a former school friend of Will’s shows up and invites the gang to Byron Bay with her pretentious travelling friends. Awkward situations and a joke involving a poo and a water slide ensue.
Whilst I’m sure this latest big-screen outing will please the fans, Inbetweeners 2 offers little in terms of originality, character development and actual laughs.
Having jumped ship at series 2, it appears nothing has changed over its subsequent final series and first film. The characters don’t seem to have matured in anyway since the last time I saw them, and the promise of travel broadening their minds is unfortunately unfulfilled.
What we get instead are the same childish and inane jokes recycled from the original series, but modified ever so slightly to include Australian puns (“We’re going down under.. I’ve spent a lot of time in the bush..”).
This all becomes tiresome very quickly, and I found the whole thing painfully boring from beginning to end. In fact, had it not been for the previously mentioned gag involving excrement and a water slide (one which I still laughed at despite my better judgement), I probably wouldn’t have laughed at all.
That one big laugh is hardly enough to warrant a visit to the cinema though, and even with it’s bigger budget and Australian setting, it still feels like it belongs on a small screen. Its story feels episodic and lacks any real purpose or direction; it begs the question as to whether this film was motivated by money rather than a desire to tell a new story.
The characterisation is lazy; literally all men are sex-obsessed imbeciles and all women are easy and unfaithful, when not being objectified of course. It’s the type of thing that really bugs me about cinema and makes the film all the more unbearable.
I get it. I know that’s what The Inbetweeners is all about. But I’ve seen far funnier, far more interesting coming-of-age films this year that completely eclipse this.
The Inbetweeners 2 doesn’t make any attempts to re-invent the wheel and will play well to its followers. For me, the series has overstayed its welcome, and if you’re after a comedy with some originality or depth, avoid this at all costs.
Either that, or watch a series repeat on the television. It’ll save you a tenner and will probably be more rewarding.
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