Inbetweeners 2 (2014) – Review

Directed by Damon Beesley, Iain Morris
Written by Damon Beesley, Iain Morris
Starring Blake Harrison, Simon Bird, James Buckley, Joe Thomas

The British public can be very fickle. At times, they can also be fiercely loyal, embarrassingly patriotic and unbelievably easy to please. The phenomena that is The Inbetweeners, with a criminally short lifespan on television, defied the convention that British situation comedies do not translate well to the big screen.
Balancing precariously between cult following and mainstream cool, Damon Beesley and Iain Morris have taken full advantage of what is sometimes a baffling amount of goodwill from an audience that simply can’t seem to get enough of the fearsome foursome featured. Yes, it’s childish nonsense, wickedly puerile and often quite unpalatable, but nevertheless, these young men continue to have an almostĀ  morbid, car crash fascination. In short, you just can’t believe that they’re doing what they’re doing. But yes, they really are.
No doubt you will already be familiar with Neil, Will, Simon and Jay, but in the unlikely event you aren’t, this collective that seem to have become a flagship example of how not to behave when growing from boy to man continues to be a loudhaler for young men that aren’t afraid to tell it like it really is. Yes, it’s sometimes truly cringeworthy stuff, but you cannot deny that Beesley and Morris do seem to have the inate ability to pull back the veil of acceptability and delicately wipe their cheesy knobs on it.
When Jay (Buckley) invites the rest of the boys out to join him on his gap year in Australia, it comes at a time when there really is nothing better for them all to do. Simon (Thomas) is looking for any reason to get away from girlfriend Lucy (Tamla Kari) who appears to be a little too clingy and outright dangerous for comfort. Both Will and Neil are keen to fill up four spare weeks as they have little else to get up for in the morning. So, student loans at the ready, they fly off to Sydney to find Jay and his high life, whom we soon understand has lost none of his ability to exaggerate.
What follows is pretty standard Inbetweeners fare and Beesley and Morris are careful not to stray too far from what has made the characters so likeable and the format so successful. Inexplicably, briefcase wanker Will bumps into Katie (Emily Berrington), an old school friend, and the scene is really then set for the rest of the film as with few options available to them, the boys decide (well, Will decides) to follow Katie’s group, allegedly to get a bit of culture and allow Will to have a crack at Katie, who seems on first impression to be very friendly indeed. Could it be possible that Will has pulled? Well, I think we already know the answer to that question…
Most of the regular cast are back, which allows for some old jokes that the die hard fans can really appreciate, mostly aimed at Will’s Mum and Neil’s Dad, but there are a couple of surprises in there too, which will make devotees really smile by the end. There’s more than enough vomit and poo to go around, and some may find a couple of the scenes actually offensive, but as mentioned, you just can’t help watching. Watch out for Neil playing pool in a skirt and Will being chased by one of Neil’s turds down a water slide.
Yes, it is as infantile as it sounds, but you get the impression that Beesley and Morris are throwing the kitchen sink at this project as this must surely be the last time this group can get away with acting like teenagers. Collectively, they are 114 years old. So maybe it’s time they put aside these childish things and this is as good a time as any. Whether the public will let them get away with that, is something else, of course. If this sequel makes anything like the box office that the original did, it may be hard for the cast not to find some other way of getting them all togther on screen at least once more. I, for one, would love to see more, even though I know I shouldn’t.
Rated 15 for good reason, so show this to anyone younger with caution.

 

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