Coincidentally, I came across an early episode of ‘The Inbetweeners’ last week.
If you’re familiar with the Channel 4 series, it was the one when Will, Simon, Jay and Neil all bunk off school and proceed to get absolutely off their faces on Beefeater gin.
Now, I like many men before me and many to come, have partaken in my fair share of bunking off school but I can honestly say I’ve never tasted Beefeater gin in my life.
The beauty of ‘The Inbetweeners’ television series was that many people watching it could relate to all four of the characters.
The television series was and still is side-splittingly funny and it also possesses a certain cheeky charm.
Impressively, writers and directors, Damon Beesley and Iain Morris successfully translated that charm into a cracking comedy with the first ‘The Inbetweeners’ movie in 2011.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for ‘The Inbetweeners 2’.
That’s not to say the movie is not without funny moments because it does have several but there’s virtually no attempt to make world of Will, Simon, Jay and Neil feel fresh.
Even the decision to set the movie in Australia just smacks of writers running out of ideas and if I am honest, I would have preferred to see what hi-jink they could have got up to back home in England.
Will (Simon Bird), who is the narrator throughout the series and in the films, was always tolerable but in this instance he love of rigorous organisation and order feels worn out and dare I say it, annoying?
The best, and personally my favourite character of the whole lot, is Jay who is played brilliantly by James Buckley.
Buckley’s Jay has been the one constant throughout the three series and the two movies and if it wasn’t for him I dread to think what the rest of the film would feel like.
Joe Thomas’ goody-two-shoes character, Simon, is much more of a pedestrian here and whilst more attention is given to Blake Harrison’s Neil, his supposed lack of intelligence and common sense comes across as somewhat unbelievable.
It takes a while for the movie to get going but when it does it succeeds in getting a few laughs.
There’s one scene about half-way through set in a water park that had me roaring with laughter like an adolescent school boy but as for before and after that, the laughs were too few and too far between for my liking.
Instead of feeling full of cheeky gags and filthy frolics ‘The Inbetweeners 2’ ends up feeling formulaic.
I enjoy crude, rude and filthy humour as much as the next person but if when trying to achieve a certain level of laughter and all you attain is a plateau then I am sorry to say that it’s time to go back to the drawing board.
Fans of the series and of the 2011 will most certainly enjoy this film and whilst I found it a little lacklustre I would still encourage people to go and see it.
One of the film’s saving graces is when Will loses his temper with a group of pretentious dreadlock wearing public school educated boys and girls.
Despite his best efforts to conform in order to impress a girl, Will’s integrity saves him from almost certain personality suicide and his parting shot at the group was just what the doctor order.
In terms of the lifespan of the Inbetweeners, this movie is by far the least impressive and if people like me, and others like me, are to continue on our relationship with the foulmouthed foursome then big improvements are required.
However, despite my disappointment, I still think the four lads still have plenty of life left in them.
If you consider the fact the American Pie franchise made six films then I can see no reason why shouldn’t hear from Will, Jay, Simon and Neil again.
‘The Inbetweeners 2’ is currently showing at the Brunswick Moviebowl; for full cinema listings visit www.brunswickmoviebowl.com or telephone 028 71 371 999.