Fans of the TV series and 2011 first movie probably won't mind that the filmmakers never bother to develop these characters at all. At least the four lead actors have plenty of charm to paper over the thinly written script, making the most of even the most simpleminded gags while playing up the traits that have kept fans coming back since the TV show debuted in 2008. The actors are now between 27 and 30, but the idiots they play are resolutely stuck in their teens.
Having finally survived high school, Jay (James Buckley) takes a gap year in Australia while his pal Will (Simon Bird) has a lonely first year at university. Even a visit from pals Simon and Neil (Joe Thomas and Blake Harrison) fails to cheer Will up, but a suggestion that they drain their student loans and head Down Under to visit Jay is more like it. Jay has painted a picture of sex-crazed party mayhem, but when they land in Sydney the reality is somewhat different. So when hot babe Katie (Emily Berrington) invites Will to come to Byron Bay with her gang of middle-class hippies, he drags his mates along. But these four guys fail to fit into the backpacking lifestyle, and instead head to the Outback to find Jay's ex.
The film opens in a nicely cinematic style, with slick spoofs of both Harry Potter and Scarface before settling into the usual groove: setting up each sequence as a possibility for sex before everything unravels into humiliating chaos. The problem is that this repetitive cycle is all set-up but almost never any pay-off. A waterslide sequence is a hilarious exception, building a queasy sense of suspense before landing a series of riotously revolting punchlines. But more often the characters are left staring into space before muttering, "OK then," before the screen fades to black as if it's time for an ad break.
Continue reading: The Inbetweeners 2 Review