Once The Inbetweeners Movie was released in the summer of 2011, the cast and creators insisted it was the last we would see of the four young men. However, the fact that it went on to make 45 million pounds at the box-office, becoming the most successful comedy ever in the UK, may be a key reason why they changed their minds. The writers of the first film, Iain Morris and Damon Beesley, have taken on the role of directors as well as continuing their writing duties, not that the plot is particularly different to that of show’s big screen debut. This time, whilst Will (Simon Bird), Simon (Joe Thomas) and Neil (Blake Harrison) have a disastrous night out they receive an email (which is presented in a brilliant, Wolf of Wall Street-esque scene) from Jay (James Buckley), who is on a gap-year in Australia, telling them about the brilliant time he is having there as the lead DJ in Sydney hottest nightclub. The other three quickly decide to fly across the world to meet up with him and have a holiday exploring the area and the usual antics quickly begin.
Fans that were excited for the second film may have been worried a few months ago as the trailers offered little in terms of laughs. However, although it begins slowly, it quickly becomes one of the funniest films of the year so far. As soon as the boys are back together and Will meets Katie (Emily Berrington), one of his childhood friends, the comedy set-pieces that made the E4 show so popular return. A few of the things that happen to the group of boys are among the funniest in their on-screen history, with one, which takes place in a water park, being a particular highlight. Not all the jokes work and some lose their impact as scenes begin to go on too long but anyone who enjoyed the television series or the first film will be laughing throughout.
The Inbetweeners 2 is not only a step up from the first film in terms of comedy as it certainly has a more cinematic feel to it, making it less like the television series but in a positive way. The film has a bit more heart to it as a result and the four young men fight and argue they begin to realise everything is better when they are with each other. Although the film is excellent when the gang is together, all four of them have separate things to do throughout the film, adding different dimensions to the humour. Reverting back to the style of E4’s show, Will is once again centre of attention as his love interest is the film’s most significant and he continues to try to fit in where he is not wanted leading to an unforgettable rant about British backpackers. Simon, Jay and Neil also have their moments as they have to deal with psychotic girlfriends over Skype, argue with insulting family members and follow their dreams of becoming dolphin trainers. Neil’s one liners are also some of the funniest moments in the film.
Disappointingly though, as usual the female characters are weak and one dimensional. Although Emily Berrington (who, in the past year we have seen playing Sue and Pete’s Australian niece in Outnumbered and attempting to escape Jack Bauer in 24: Live Another Day) is good as Emily, she does not have much of a personality and is mainly an object of desire for Simon Bird’s character. It is also strange that the writers have decided to make one of the first film’s most likeable characters, Simon’s girlfiend Lucy (Tamla Kari), a slightly psychotic and emotionally unstable young woman who takes a pair of scissors to her boyfriend’s clothes whenever he becomes friends with another girl on Facebook. It is as if she is an entirely different character to the one in the first film. Even Will’s mum has become deceitful and one dimensional. However, it has never been about the supporting cast and the strength of the four main characters is what makes the film so brilliant.
For a fan of the typical crude, gross-out humour of The Inbetweeners, the gang’s second big-screen outing may be the funniest film of the year. We can only hope that they once again go back on their promise that this really is the end of the road for the four young men.
The Inbetweeners 2 (2014), directed by Iain Morris and Damon Beesley is distributed by Entertainment Film Distributors, Certificate 15. Watch the trailer below: