The Inbetweeners 2 finds Simon, Will and Neil continuing to struggle to find popularity and acceptance in England, despite going off to university and ostensibly being adults at this stage (and despite the fact that university really isn’t as vindictive as portrayed here). After an email from Jay explaining how much he is living it up in Australia, the other three decide to join him for a holiday. Of course, Jay may have been exaggerating somewhat on his circumstances, leading the four to set off on a travel adventure with all the hijinks and shenanigans that you would expect.
If you’re looking for something that will stimulate your brain, turn away now – this is not for you. The humour is puerile, with gutter gags on the menu from beginning to end. I’m not saying it’s not funny, at times it is hilarious, but it’s overdone somewhat in places and can be quite a chore to get through – and not because of the childishness of it, but because it seems very forced. There is especially one sequence at the water park which is only inserted to elicit gasps from the audience, and doesn’t really serve any purpose as it’s almost immediately forgotten.
It’s not all negatives, however. There is a subtext involved, albeit a not very subtle one. There are a number of moments that poke fun at the typical "gap year" students with cutting wit, while simultaneously using Neil and Jay’s "banter" to lampoon the lad culture which has seemingly permeated every pore of the British mass media. This is executed well, to a point, though the writers veer dangerously close to becoming the very thing they are mocking at points.
In the end, the biggest problem with the Inbetweeners 2 is one of overfamiliarity. There are only so many times you can see the same four characters have the same repetitive problems without it getting frankly boring. While there are excellent performances from the four main actors, and it is the connection the audience has built with them, and their relationship which just about saves the film, it all just feels a bit flat overall. There is nothing new or exciting, and bar the past 20 minutes this feels entirely like an elongated episode of the series, something the first film mostly managed to avoid. I hope for the sake of the legacy of the show, that this will be the final adventure for Jay, Simon, Will and Neil, because frankly, these are grown men, no longer in-between anything, and to go any further is just going to be a full-on jump of the shark. An average, if not somewhat unnecessary adventure.
EXTRAS ★½ A short, frankly paltry making-of documentary. Not worth watching, in all honesty.