The Inbetweeners 2Wednesday 06 Aug 2014
Director: Damon Beesley, Iain Morris
Starring: Simon Bird, Blake Harrison, Joe Thomas, James Buckley, Tamla Kari, Freddie Stroma, Emily Berrington, Daisy Ridley
Duration: 96 minutes
Back on a mission to out gross (£45m at the British box office) the first one, out-Farrelly The Farrellys, and gross out pretty much every US high school comedy ever, the Inbetweeners return for a Pommes on tour trip to Oz.
But how can pompous Will, prima donna Simon, gormless beanpole Neil, and Billy Liar-on-steroids Jay possibly hope to compete with a country that has elevated low-born crudity into a true linguistic art form?
The Outback, Down Under . . . (hur, hur), the filthy puns are served up here like shrimps on the barbie and the writing team of Iain Morris and Damon Beesley (who also direct this patchy follow-up) don't disappoint on that score.
New levels of scatology are eh, plumbed, fresh doses of public humiliation are dished up, and there is one utterly bizarre scene in the Outback that will either leave you deeply traumatised or, well, doing a bit of wee in your pants.
We catch up with the boys to find Will and Si as freshers in Uni, happy-go-mucky Neil in a dead-end job trundling along in blissful oblivion, and Jay living it up in Oz, bedding the Minogues in his new mansion, and working as a superstar DJ in Sydney's coolest club.
Yeah, right. There's nothing for it than to get the hell Down Under and join Jay in his Shangri-La of endless sun, sex, and more sex. This is where Inbetweeners 2 follows the blueprint of the first movie with a slightly depressing inevitability.
The boys fetch up in local tourist magnet Splash World and slum it at a backpackers lodge in Byron Bay, where there is much fun to be had with the idiotic upper class bores on the spiritual trail. And once again, a gorgeous posh bird fancies king loser Will.
Meanwhile, simpering Simon is being whipped via Skype by his psycho girlfriend, Lucy, a young lady who keeps him under her thumb, even though he's 10,000 miles away, by microwaving his favourite trainers and cutting up his hoodies with a manic glint in her eye.
There are certainly laughs to be had but they are variations on the laughs we've already had with the excellent Inbetweeners TV series and the surprisingly great first movie. The foursome are all hurtling toward 30 but nobody really wants them to finally bridge that gap between boyhood and manhood.
Childish things are not put away here, which is fine, but quite a few of the gags are left hanging in the dead heat, and the over-reliance on knob jokes (mostly visual) soon loses the limited shock value.
Same plot - different country. It's fouler and filthier for sure; it's just not funnier. Sad to say, In Betweeners 2 is fair to middling.