MFR Rating: ★ ★ ★
If you plan see a movie but you want to know exactly what you’re getting for your money, go and see The Inbetweeners Movie. Much like The Hangover sequel, it absolutely meets all expectations based on previous work. Jam packed with loveable vulgarity that’s cringeworthingly so-bad-it’s-good; if you don’t laugh, at least you will cry.
From E4, to Screen 1: The Inbetweeners Movie has been an unlikely box office hit, shoving much bigger releases to the far away corners of the multiplex. Simon Bird, Joe Thomas, James Buckley and Blake Harrison each reprise their roles as hapless, hormonal sixth formers, despite the fact there are probably Heads of Department younger than the four actors. Finally, our four inbetweeners have finished sixth form and looking forward to one big ‘lads on tour’ holiday before they depart their separate ways. Devoid of guidebooks or day trips, the boys set off for Malia in search of booze and birds, and a couple of things unwritable on a family blog.
Although like much of the recent series, soppy Simon (Joe Thomas) has perhaps grown to take the series lead, what has always held The Inbetweeners together is Simon Bird’s perfect portrayal of bespecled, middle class, wannabe academic, Will. Always offering sanity and commentary on the absurdity of his friends’ adventures – from one perspective it seems odd he would befriend this group of sex crazed misfits, but somehow the friendship always rings true.
The Inbetweeners Movie succeeds in not relying on catchphrases and in jokes from the TV series for gags, despite the fact all the characters are instantly recognizable. I must admit, I laughed more for this movie than any comedy in quite a while, although that doesn’t take a great deal. After a strong opening it does drag on a bit in the middle and never quite recaptures that form.
Stretched beyond a 30 minute concept? Perhaps. The mysogyny can get a bit much, especially when a fellow group of holidaying females are meant to find our gang somehow attractive. It’s wrapped up a bit neatly with an attempt at a happy conclusion, which rings a bit hollow given the tone of the show. It will live up to every expectation of fans and judging by the chap behind me, it will convert one or two new ones too. The holidaying, young Brits abroad is expertly observed and that’s the humour which keeps the film buzzing along quite nicely.
Whether you want to pity, cringe or encourage them, you get the feeling these inbetweeners will never grow up. It’s crude and abrasive but nicely observational rather than shockingly crass. With a US release a couple months away, it will be fascinating to note whether it can tranlsate across the pond. The end of the series? Unlikely. While the TV show may be done and dusted, it’s hard to imagine such a profitable hit won’t be followed up in a couple years time. Let’s see what uni brings.
The Inbetweeners Movie is out now in the UK and out on 25th November in the US. Certificate 15 (UK).
Review by David Rank