I queued outside a cinema last week to watch THE comedy event of the year – The Inbetweeners 2. Undisputedly popular with pretty much everyone, breakfast news reported just a few hours later that it had already broken every UK box office record. And it had been out for two days. But is the hype correct?
Firstly I must say the team have done a sterling job to make two decent movies after three amazing television series. For me the films will never quite have the relatable hilarity of the series, but to have made two funny, genuine films is still such an achievement. The transition from TV to film is not easy. Why do you think The Simpsons took twenty years?
The Inbetweeners 2 is very funny with a couple of highly outrageous scenes which will undoubtedly be the most talked about. It’s only 96 minutes long but whereas the first film felt like an extended episode, this film really feels like a movie. It’s less realistic and more over the top – and this could divide opinions among fans. After all, a lot of the appeal of the show were the situations we could all relate to. Learning to drive, going to your first gig, camping with friends. I’m not sure how many people can relate to Neil poisoning a dolphin with a meatball sandwich, but of course it gets a lot of laughs on the way.
The good news is that the characters still feel the same (except Lucy of course, Simon’s lovely girlfriend from the first movie who is now a bullying psychopath). I get the feeling the writers were very cautious to mature the boys realistically, but still keep endearing and popular personality traits. They still work together well as a group of friends and the humour and jokes are on a par with the original movie, some scenes are even funnier. Will was a bit of a dickhead though, you know how he was always the voice of reason? Well he’s more of a dick in this film but as usual does end up having some of the funniest lines and conversations with people. One brilliant outburst towards the end of the movie actually drew applause from the audience!
It was great to see the lads again but (and here comes the slightly sorry news…) I don’t really think the film was necessary and that’s my main gripe. The first film tied up the story so nicely. We knew the lads were okay, non-virgins (important) and Simon was over that bitch Carly (very important). I can only surmise that it was hard to turn down the inevitable millions of pounds a successful sequel would bring in. But lads, you cannot make another one.
To me, everything felt a bit different. It’s hard to explain and until I’ve watched it again I can’t really compare the films and series properly. Maybe it was because we waited longer for this and it didn’t roll neatly into the end of the last film. Maybe it’s just the unbelievable hype over it – to be fair if you go into a movie theatre thinking “I’m going to see something bloody great” then the only way is down.
Simon and Neil didn’t get as much storyline in this either, the film was more about Jay and Will though Neil did get some brilliant one liners. Neil has always been my favourite Inbetweener so I was disappointed not to see more of him. I was also dissatisfied with the ending of the film, it felt rushed and some rather ludicrous things happened. As the viewer, not only did I have to massively suspend my belief, but I was also left wondering – what will happen to them now? It didn’t end on a real high note and it should have done.
However all in all, the film is very enjoyable and funny with some hilarious lines, scenes, haircuts and of course the serious bits that test the boys friendship (and bed springs) . There is some fantastic mockery of rich kids who go travelling (we’re not on holiday, it’s called travelling okay?) and as previously noted, the four lads felt as familiar as they always had done. As a stand alone comedy film it’s very, very funny. But it’s hard to ignore the fact the film was never really necessary and for fans of The Inbetweeners (especially those who have enjoyed it since the start) it may not quite hit the spot as hoped.