The Inbetweeners 2 - DVD Review

'There are certainly laughs to be had throughout, although the testosterone-and-banter-fuelled antics of the titular teenagers may also be starting to wear a little thin'.

The fact that you're still reading this review beyond the title above the picture suggests that you've almost certainly watched either the The Inbetweeners TV series or its first big screen outing, 2011's The Inbetweeners Movie, or more likely both. If you enjoyed either of those, then it's pretty certain that you'll get on with The Inbetweeners 2 to a similar degree. If you're not a fan of The Inbetweeners franchise, however, this will do nothing to change that. Those who can't get enough of the adolescent quartet will no doubt add this to their list of all-time favourite movies alongside the first film. For casual viewers (a group I just about fit into), there are certainly laughs to be had throughout, although the testosterone-and-banter-fuelled antics of the titular teenagers may also be starting to wear a little thin.

Despite now being aged between 27 and 31, the four main actors are a key reason that much of The Inbetweeners 2 works at all. Simon Bird, James Buckley, Blake Harrison and Joe Thomas may in reality be around a decade older than their characters, but their performances perfectly capture many aspects of being an awkward teenage male. Bird and Thomas perhaps get the marginally shorter straws here, however, with Simon (Thomas) and Will's (Bird) respective plot threads feeling more like retreads of material already covered in the series than something entirely new.

Jay (Buckley) arguably shows the greatest growth as a character (not that developing these characters ever feels like a key concern for co-writers and directors Damon Beesley and Iain Morris), the young actor an underlying hopelessness into the foul-mouthed braggadocio. Harrison too manages to further hone hapless Neil into perhaps one of the most effective slapstick comedy creations of recent years, suggesting his casting as Private Pike in the forthcoming big screen adaptation of vintage BBC comedy Dad's Army places the much-loved part in safe hands.

Elsewhere, things are pretty much as you'll no doubt be expecting from the comedy franchise. After an uneven opening fifteen minutes that sees Beesley and Morris rush to transfer the four lads to Australia as quickly as possible, things soon settle into an entertaining groove. The humour is coarse and often near the knuckle, of course, but it's delivered in the same unashamed style that has made it work since the first series, with a mid-film episode based around a visit to a water park delivering many of the most successful moments.

There are perhaps a few too many lazy Australian stereotypes, and the film undoes much of the good work that the previous film did in introducing some more rounded female characters into the mix, but The Inbetweeners 2 in the end offers enough to enjoy to make this feel like a worthwhile continuation of the comedy franchise. However, if a third film really is as inevitable as it currently feels, let's hope Beesley and Morris avoid the temptation to recycle the "send them on holiday" formula once again, and instead give the boys a send-off they deserve.

By Ben Broadribb. Ben is a regular contributor to Film Intel, having previously written at Some Like It Hot Fuzz. He is normally seen in the wild wearing t-shirts containing obscure film references. He is a geek, often unashamedly so. He's also on and Twitter.

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