Released: 17th August 2011
Director: Ben Palmer
Starring: Simon Bird, James Buckley, Blake Harrison, Joe Thomas
Running time: 97minutes
For many, the very name The Inbetweeners will conjure images of the crude but hilarious antics of four young guys – Will, Simon, Jay and Neil – as they came to terms with that most difficult period in life: adolescence.
After three successful series on the little screen, its time for the boys to make their big screen debut as they give their characters one final send off. Having just finished college, the lads head to Malia for a week of sex, booze and partying. Or at least that’s the plan – fans will know only too well that nothing ever goes to plan for our band of comrades.
Unfortunately it is not just the holiday but the film at large which seems to go off the rails all too soon. Instead of really exploring any of these characters, or their flaws, the film instead seems to simply repeat itself over and over, rolling out the same gags again and again ad infinitum, and it is genuinely the longest 97 minutes I’ve spent in a cinema this summer.
Half these jokes – one particularly in which Neil is found having sex with much older women – really aren’t funny the first time, much less the tenth. What’s worse is that – in having gone back to give the group a proper send off – they seem to have completely failed to do so.
The final act seems to be over before its barely begun, and its so rushed that none of the conclusions to any of the four threads feel either convincing nor worth having waited for. It’s as if, in giving each of the four his own problems, and his own need for resolutions, the film makers really crammed too much in.
You never stay with any bit of the story long enough to care about it, and so by the time the lights come back up you have more closure than you started with.
Probably the one saving grace – as there really is none to be found in the main group – is in young actress Tamali Kari. She plays Lucy, a girl who Simon meets while trying to get over recent ex Carli. Her character seems to have some kind of depth and real emotion to her while the rest seem like mere caricatures, going through the motions.
She’s not enough to save this from being a bit of a train wreck though. To put it very simply: repeating yourself and shouting louder, or being a little more crude or rude doesn’t make anything better. It just drags out what will surely be a painful goodbye for fans of the show.