The Inbetweeners 2

The Inbetweeners TV series was a huge hit, both in terms of viewing figures and critical reception. It followed four socially awkward teenagers and their embarrassing and hilarious exploits in sixth form. The TV show was excellent mainly because it realistically portrayed British teens and their daily dilemmas. The writing was sharp and clever, the stereotypes of each character weren't over-exaggerated and, most importantly for a comedy, it was brilliantly funny. The Inbetweeners Movie (2011) was expected to attract fans of the series and few others. But to the surprise of everyone, it had the most successful opening weekend ever for a comedy in the UK. In total it made almost $88 million worldwide with $71 million from the UK. Interestingly, it only made $36,000 in the US. And again, it was very funny.

The Inbetweeners 2 has been similarly successful, having the biggest UK opening weekend of the year, but is it as good as the first one? In a word, no. While the budget for the second film was clearly a lot bigger than the first, it also lost a lot of the appeal of the first. Gone are a lot of the well scripted jokes, replaced instead by larger, more over the top scenarios. The film follows the four as they travel to Australia and are as socially awkward as they were in Malia in the first film. They struggle to talk to girls, get each other into awkward situations and are generally social outcasts. However, this time it just isn't as funny.

That isn't to say there aren't any redeeming parts. Simon's relationship with clingy girlfriend Lucy is cruelly accurate and often makes for the best scenes of the whole film. His struggle to dump her is painful to watch but at the same time entertaining. Jay's tendency to make up ambitious lies is still there as well as Neil's dimness and childlike sense of humour, along with Will's dorkiness and a new found hatred of hippies. The four's conversations are still very entertaining to watch, its just that there aren't enough of these scenes.

The film feels just too broken up and many of the jokes fall flat. Maybe its because we've heard them all before? The money has clearly been spent on Jay's dream sequence, the waterpark/faecal matter incident (don't ask) and the outback scenes. The problem is these sequences are either too disgusting or too overstretched. They are so far removed from the scenarios in the TV series and just aim way too high. Their brand of humour just doesn't fit these set pieces. Characters from the TV series are brought back for no real reason and they provide little variation. They should have quit while they were ahead.

To call the Inbetweeners 2 a terrible film would be a little too harsh. It's just mediocre and provides not enough comedic variation from the first film. The script is stale and the characters are becoming a bit tiresome. But the main lesson to learn from this film is: more money doesn't mean more laughs.