Eyebrows were certainly raised when learning that hit TV series The Inbetweeners was to make its big screen debut. However the 2011 endeavour was a critical and box office triumph, easing any such apprehensions. Ultimately, this does mean that a sequel – now directed by writers Iain Morris and Damon Beesley – comes with a degree of expectation, yet this lends itself even more to the critical eye. However even the more cynical filmgoer is going to be left holding up their hands, admitting that their expectations have been exceeded once again.
With Jay (James Buckley) away in Australia on a gap year, he excites his three best friends, Simon (Joe Thomas), Neil (Blake Harrison) and Will (Simon Bird), with tales of his playboy lifestyle, renowned in a local nightclub as DJ Big Penis, waking up to clunge every day. He’s had Elle McPherson and the Minogue sisters, together. Of course once the boys decide to fly out to Sydney and meet him, it eventually transpires he’s sleeping in a tent outside his uncle’s house, and indeed working in the aforementioned nightclub, but in the toilets. When finally dropping his guard, the boys decide to go ‘travelling’, where Will meets Katie (Emily Berrington)…
Partly why this picture is so easy to indulge in, is because we’re returning to four pathetic, yet wholly affable protagonists; and often when it comes to productions like this, the quality of the content is sometimes pushed aside for some time spent with our favourite comic creations. Thankfully, however, there is enough humour here as well, with a variety of moments that are up there with the very best that The Inbetweeners have ever had to offer, with enough jokes about poo and penises to keep fans of the show in their comfort zone.
The only disappointment, in truth, is the finale. The show’s creators and the actors themselves have all recently declared this to be the end of the journey: the very final outing for Will, Simon, Jay and Neil. So one would hope for something a little more dramatic; and while Morris and Beesley must be commended for not becoming overly sentimental and deviating from the jocular, playful tone of this comedy, you just feel that something a little more significant would have been beneficial. Still, if this film makes as much money as the first, we’ll probably end up with a third movie anyway.