In a genre that can loosely trace its roots back to the amazing The Young Ones in the early 1980s, The Inbetweeners 2 seems to have taken it to a new low in the form of one of the most cringing 96 minutes of film I’ve ever sat through.
The film tells the story of the four protagonists of the TV show, now they’ve moved on from school and headed variously to university, work and (crucially for what is loosely called a plot) Australia. After a disastrous party weekend, which sets the bar spectacularly low, we see them go travelling/on holiday and attempt to poke fun at pretty much every trope of student life going and, for the most part its stuff we’ve seen done 100 times better, 100 times before.
Unfortunately, rather than doing what seems to be its intent and poking lighthearted, gross out, fun – or ‘Bants’ as the characters here might have it – it generally just ends up being over crass and generally offensive to pretty much everyone it sets its targets on.
For a start the four main characters are entirely unsympathetic stereotypes so, once they get into scrapes, I didn’t really care if they got out of them. As the movie goes on they meet, variously, typical Giles Wembley-Hogg like travellers (Marcus Brigstocke already spoofed them better), crassly stereotyped Australians, and various side characters ranging from ‘psycho’ girlfriends to transsexual prostitutes.
I think it was Bernard Manning who once tried to justify his ‘comedy’ as not being racist or sexist but offending everyone, and this falls into a similar territory, albeit possibly without the same nasty intent he seemed to have, this just feels misguided.
As the film rolls along it falls into the standard episodic nature of the not so well handled road movie and jokes are often repeated and remain largely unfunny. That’s not to say there weren’t a few laughs, but generally they seemed to come at points that I wasn’t sure were meant to be funny.
The highlight of the film came in the cameo from Greg Davies who’s sheer presence and slightly Rik Mayall-like nature elevated his brief appearances slightly. Unfortunately that was too little too late leaving The Inbetweeners 2 feeling like a waste of celluloid (or more like hard drive space) and its one the few films I’ve actually considered walking out of and wouldn’t have minded if I’d fallen asleep in (alongside Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom)… now where are my The Young Ones DVDs.