Review: The Inbetweeners Movie
Lads on tour. That’s the premise for The Inbetweeners’ swansong as Will, Simon, Jay and Neil head off to Malia for one last adventure before university begins and they go their separate ways – and as you can guess their summer holiday quickly becomes a disaster.
The transition from TV to the big screen is rarely a seamless one (think Ali G Indahouse or Kevin and Perry Go Large) and my main worry was that creators Damon Beesley and Iain Morris would round off a popular TV series with a soulless feature film that brings financial satisfaction rather than, well, the kind fans are after.
But that’s not the case here, thankfully. The Inbetweeners Movie, barring some impressive cinematic camera work and the dreadful piano score that seemed to punctuate every other scene, is basically just an extended episode of the series – a character-driven story of adolescent aches and sheer stupidity, complemented by a bag full of dick jokes. Ultimately, though, it’s great fun and incredibly rewarding.
Once again James Buckley is the star of the show as serial liar Jay Cartwright – and he gets the laughs underway early on while sitting in his bedroom with a packed of cooked ham – but Will [Simon Bird], Simon [Joe Thomas] and Neil [Blake Harrison] also have their moments, like their attempts at chatting up a group of attractive women in an empty bar.
Some reviewers have taken aim at the sitcom’s flippant use of language and they’ve certainly got a point. A stand-up comedian deploying casual misogyny and borderline racism in their act wouldn’t escape criticism, so neither should Beesley and Morris – and while it’s obvious (to me, at least) that such base language is installed to make this playground drama feel real, interpretation will always overwhelm intention. Unfortunately.
It’s just about the only thing critics can throw at The Inbetweeners, though, as otherwise it’s a thoroughly entertaining depiction of friendship and maturity, filled with laughs, vomit and, er, clunge. Lessons are learned, certain characters make the changes we’ve been screaming at them to make for years. And as Will, Simon, Jay and Neil touch down in England following possibly the worst holiday imaginable, you suspect the quartet may well have grown up a bit, too.