The boys are back with a bang. Knee deep in gags and horrific cringe moments that I had to watch through my fingers, “The Inbetweeners 2” is a disappointingly superficial movie experience. As a person who always looks for the TV show on Netflix in my darkest times for a guaranteed smile, I feel like a total Judas. With “The Inbetweeners: The Movie”, the plot was an elegant weave of humour and character conflict, boldly targeting the fans of the show. Though one could argue this point, the transition from television to film was a seamless undertaking. “The Inbetweeners 2” however misses many of the hallmarks of the series, stripping out any real conflict and insisting on continuing the familiar arcs that fans can smell a mile off. Defining features of the Inbetweeners are the outrageous social ineptitude of the boys and the exploration of gritty adolescent life. Though true to an extent for “The Inbetweeners 2”, the resolution of the first movie feels almost inconsequential as they each pass the stage in their life of overcoming their status as a virgin.
The films begins as Will, Simon and Neil invite themselves down-under, where Jay has relocated and apparently living it up; making out he is the Australian Charlie Sheen. Of course when the other boys arrive it turns out they are yet more of Jay’s tall stories and instead of being a chick magnet DJ’ing success – he is a toilet attendant who lives in a two-man tent. After Will conveniently knocks into a girl he knew in primary school, who takes on the role of his unobtainable love interest, its off to the hostel where the boys try a bit more of their cringy courting.
Then the water park. A scene that absolutely shines, brimming with stand-out comedic events which culminates with a shit flying into Will’s face, Jay’s bottom lip trembling, Simon with a black eye and Neil having accidentally killed a dolphin.
From then on the story follows a very familiar pattern, one leaves and returns realising he is not willing to risk friendship for a girl who isn’t really interested in him. Muff before mates?
Though not terrible by any means, the movie as a single entity had no particularly compelling plot. The third act must have only a duration of five minutes, with an ending that pulled the rug out of all four of the boys’ personal lives – leaving them all single. (except Neil who during the credit sequence has begun a relationship with an older married woman) Protagonists should at least succeed in some way, even the Inbetweeners that is Simon, Jay, Will and Neil. Though enjoyable, funny and fresh in terms of setting, “The Inbetweeners 2” in my opinions marks the natural end for the four lads. The sequel expectation will always be high and for me this film unfortunately didn’t manage to exceed the one that preceded it.