D: Damon Beesley, Iain Morris / 96m
Cast: Simon Bird, James Buckley, Blake Harrison, Joe Thomas, Emily Berrington, Tamla Kari, Freddie Stroma, Belinda Stewart-Wilson, David Field, Greg Davies, Lydia Rose Bewley
With Jay (Buckley) having gone to live and work in Australia six months before, his friends Will (Bird), Simon (Thomas) and Neil (Harrison) decide to pay him a visit and do some travelling at the same time. Arriving in Sydney, they find that Jay’s claims of being a top DJ and living in a mansion full of gorgeous, sexually available women is a pack of lies. When Will bumps into Katie (Berrington), someone he used to know at school, and who seems to be attracted to him, he persuades the rest of the gang to head off to a water park called Splash Planet where Katie will be working. While they’re there, it emerges that Jay is in Australia to find his old girlfriend, Jane (Bewley). Meanwhile, Simon is trying to find a way of dumping his psychotic girlfriend, Lucy (Kari), and Neil wants to be a dolphin trainer. When Jay discovers Jane has moved on, it causes a rift that sees Will stay behind while the others travel into the Outback.
While a sequel to the first movie wasn’t entirely expected, now that it’s here the decision to move the action to Australia appears to have been a good idea, but aside from toning down Jay’s crude, rampant sexism and making him a little more sympathetic, the characters are the same as before, with the same attitudes and problems. The humour is still as rancorous, and the depiction of women as little more than sex objects is still (unfortunately) in place, while attempts to make winners out of perennial losers leads to mixed results (Jay and Jane, Will and Katie).
Under the guidance of series’ and first movie scriptwriters Beesley and Morris, The Inbetweeners 2 has its moments – Will and one of Neil’s bowel movements is a very funny, very gross standout – but it coasts along for too much of its running time and provides little that’s unexpected or clever. As sequels go, the change of location is effectively exploited (the stunning locations are beautifully framed and photographed by Ben Wheeler), but the inclusion of secondary characters such as Mr Gilbert (Davies – a series’ favourite) seems forced rather than a natural part of the story.
Rating: 6/10 – one for the fans, who will lap this up, The Inbetweeners 2 ticks all the boxes you’d expect and, to be fair, does so without stopping to apologise once; uneven then and on that level, on a par with the first movie.