Thunder down under.
Cast: James Buckley, Simon Bird, Joe Thomas, Blake Harrison, Tamla Kari, et al…
Directors: Damon Beesley & Iain Morris
Runtime: 96 minutes
Plot: The Inbetweeners go to Australia, hilarity ensues.
The Inbetweeners 2 is a very funny film; in fact, it is probably the funniest film you will see this year. After the disappointing Anchorman 2 I have been wary of comedy sequels in a year of three (Anchorman 2, The Inbetweeners 2 and Dumb and Dumber To), in fact, after having seen Godzilla, films in general became less appealing (I had lost faith in the film industry to some extent); The Inbetweeners 2 (with a side order of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) quickly snapped me out of any doubts I had despite it not being fantastic.
The first Inbetweeners film felt like a long episode of the show with one major flaw – they were happy at the end – so I was glad to see them without girlfriends (except for Simon (Joe Thomas), who hates Lucy (Tamla Kari), who turned out to be quite horrible) – this was the Inbetweeners I have come to know. Straight away The Inbetweeners 2 comes across as more “cinematic” in nature than the original as we are treated to a glorious opening that parodies Harry Potter of all things, only for us to be thrown into a “so what’s been happening to the lads these past years?” sequence. Each character feels as natural as ever, Will (Simon Bird) is a friendless university student who doesn’t quite realise how much everyone appears to dislike him, Neil (Blake Harrison) hasn’t moved on, Simon is stuck at university with a now horrible Lucy and Jay (James Buckley) is in Australia, his motives not quite known beyond a gap-year; this is where the film really begins.
Jay’s postcard sequence stands out: a single shot sequence (at least it is made to look that way) full of Jay’s lies and exaggerations (punching a koala anyone?) is presented – fantastic. Of course, when they all arrive in Australia, Jay is exposed expertly by everyone and we are set up with the premise of the film: Jay wants to find someone; Will wants to make it with a woman on a “proper” gap-year; Simon wants to break up with Lucy over Skype and Neil wants to be a dolphin trainer. This four way story kind of works, but I don’t think we get enough time with the four together, the system kind of makes each character feel a little separate from each other.
Despite the slight issue with how the story is handled, each actor carries their character as well as they ever have done except for Joe Thomas’ Simon, who seems just a little bit out of the film. Although Simon’s story is fairly funny in its own right, Simon himself doesn’t quite feel the same, perhaps it is age or perhaps it is the writing, but Simon isn’t quite in the film as much as he should be. The best two moments in the film come through Will, I’m not going to spoil these scenes, but you’ll know them when you see them.
I don’t think the setup is as good as the original film, and as such, I don’t think it turns out quite as funny or quite as quotable overall, but key scenes in the film are funnier than anything the series has provided before. What we have here is a good comedy film with a few standout moments that will have you in stitches and more than justify the 96 minute runtime – just don’t expect a masterpiece.
It was good to catch up with the Inbetweeners, perhaps it is not their finest hour, but it is a solid sequel to a solid film and provides a good ending to the series overall if this is how it is going to end. Fans of the show will not be disappointed and really, I could recommend the film to anyone looking for a good a time and a good laugh.
Strap in for a bonza comedy mates.