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The Inbetweeners 2

August 19, 2014

The Inbetweeners 2 (2014)
Directors: Damon Beesley, Iain Morris
Actors: Simon Bird, James Buckley, Joe Thomas

1201816_The-Inbetweeners-2-1.jpg (226×125)

Synopsis: To shake off the doldrums of university and working life, Will (Simon Bird), Simon (Joe Thomas) and Neil (Blake Harrison) head to Australia to catch up with old pal, Jay (James Buckley), who is working ‘Down Under’….

Review: A near simulacrum of the first Inbetweeners movie, except set around the notion of a travelling holiday in Australia rather than a ‘lads on tour’ piss up in Crete, The Inbetweeners 2 satisfies itself with trotting out almost exactly the same trajectory as its predecessor, bar the marginally different canvas and set of support characters.

Perhaps the stand-out moment of the movie is the epic, ‘ironic’ promo film of Jay narrating his fantasy life in Australia – and although undoubtedly a logistical tour de force and having an obvious ‘tongue-in-cheek’ core running through it, this brash feature ironically betrays a lot of the problems with The Inbetweeners 2. Everything seems a lot cruder, and the perpetual straddling of the line of ‘poor taste’ feels less a challenging of the audience’s risqué threshold and more a slightly desperate attempt to gain cheap kudos. By all means, throw in the odd choice ‘shock’ moment of sexual smut, but the characters’ continual referencing of penises, “gashes” and faeces does tend to reduce their comic end-effect. And also – although recognising the need not to overly-intellectualise something that is generally intended to be a bit of harmless fun, and respecting that the film is characterising these boys’ world-view rather than valorising it – there’s an unquestionable misogynistic streak to The Inbetweeners 2. From the psycho girlfriend, to the insincere hippy chick, to the hysterical new-age wife going through some form of ‘comic’ breakdown, to Will’s MILF of a mother – women don’t come out of the film at all well.

Perhaps my favourite element to the Inbetweeners brand once again is that its ‘Englishness’ offers a nice contrast to the gilded shenanigans from a similar genre of films across the pond. Will’s nerdy intellectual has some great lines, and the best subplot of the film is his growing deconstruction of the pretentious, bourgeois cult of travelling, and having a laugh at the semantics of the word ‘spiritual’ which is grossly overused by the gang of cool travellers he comes across. (August 2014)

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