When The Inbetweeners hit our TV screens in 2008, it seemed to explode, you couldn’t walk down the street without hearing a quote from the show. After three seasons this success transferred itself off our tellies and onto the big screen, becoming one of the biggest British comedy movies off all time, despite failing to make it over the other side of the pond. In spite of this success, the first movie never quite achieved the brilliance of the TV show, it lost a lot of the charm that had made people fall in love with this group of misfits in the first place.
Well now they are back with movie number 2, where ourlikely lads are heading to Australia because, well, why not? With original show creators Damon Beesley and Ian Morris stepping up to direct, it is aiming to see off the lads with the film they deserve, although with the amount of money it’s made don’t be that surprised if there is soon talk of a third.
Now The Inbetweeners 2 gets a lot of things wrong. There is no denying that. It is a funny film, but it is not a hysterical film and I think it’s fair to say it still doesn’t grasp the brilliance of the TV show at it’s peak. However, I also came out of this film believing that it had got right much of the things that the first film had got wrong. (I should point out there will be spoilers for the first film in the rest of this article, if for whatever reason you don’t wish to read them, don’t read ahead).
The first thing they have rectified comes in the dynamic between the group. My biggest issue with the first movie is that while it got the idea of them being a group of people who will relentlessly insult and tease each other, it did it to the detriment of their friendship. Watched without the knowledge of the TV show, you would genuinely wonder why this people were on holiday together, because they seemed to have very little to say for each other. The second movie rectifies that. They never stop insulting each other and of course they fall out, but underneath it all, it never loses the sense that these people are good friends, who care for one another.
The second change comes in the final act (this is where those spoilers will come into play). The first movies ends with the group coming back from holiday, having all got the girls and supposedly conquered the odds. It was an ending that never quite sat right with the characters established. Hollywood will always portray the idea that the nerds can get the girl, but the Inbetweeners, while flirting with it, have always shown that’s not really the case. These are the misfits and no matter how close they might come, having them actually end up with the hot girl never made sense. The second movie quickly removes that issue, we hear about the end of the various relationships, or in Simon’s case the horrifying reality of it continuing, and the ending – I shan’t spoil it, don’t worry – while happy, resists the temptation to step out into perfection.
The Inbetweeners 2 is not a perfect movie, it is far from it and at times it’s just a bit bad, but if you are a fan of the original series then there is more than enough for you to get your teeth into. It feels like a movie that is much truer to that original series and because of that may well be the best way to say goodbye to this particular group of misfits.