I realised half way through writing this piece that I had written getting on for 500 words without really starting the review. So if all you are interested in is the review you can skip the first section and just start where I have written ‘REVIEW STARTS HERE’. The first section is just some background information about the series and the film. But, whether you just read the review or the whole thing, enjoy!
In its first five days of release ‘The Inbetweeners Movie’ made a staggering £13.2 million in the UK alone. That is enough to make it the second highest opening in the UK so far this year, the highest of course being Harry Potter. It has now been announced that it has made £27.72 million in 13-days, making it the UK’s fastest–grossing live action comedy of all time.
Now, that is quite a feat for a show that started out in 2008 playing late on e4 every week. But in these past three years in has turned into something of a cultural phenomenon.
Viewing figures grew and grew throughout the three series, and by the third series pretty much every teenager was tuning in. I would go into school the day after an episode and it would always be the hot-topic. Its influence even started traveling up the age groups, with some of the younger teachers quoting it.
It just seemed to resonate with so many young people who were either the same age as the characters or who would soon be, or even those who had been that age in recent memory. The series captured perfectly the journey through the last couple of years of secondary school of a group of lads who were neither cool kids nor geeks, they were in-between (hence the name).
The first series was something fresh and new and, even though it took an episode or two to find its feet, provided consistent humour. That of course lead to series two which continued the trend, and in my point of view was the best the show has been.
Then series three, which was announced to be the last we would see from the Inbetweeners. It was series that really hit the big-time, but something was wrong. I don’t know whether it was the lack of new material or the bigger audience or the higher expectations, but something wasn’t quite right. The show seemed to be going out with a whimper rather than a bang.
And this may well have been the reason for the idea of them making a movie, to try and make the Inbetweeners go out with the bang that they so rightfully deserved. But whatever the reason, the writers put on their thinking hats and got to work.
A script was ready, now for the cast (who were now aged from 24 through to 27). But Simon Bird, who plays Will, asked for more money than the other three main characters. He claimed that he was the star (he provides the voice-over for the show) so he should get paid the most. The guys with the money said no, and actively started to search for a replacement. However, it never came to that, and Simon Bird was back in.
And here we are now, the films been out for a couple of weeks and I finally got round to seeing it yesterday. Here are my thoughts . . .
REVIEW STARTS HERE
The end of series three saw the four stars – Will, Simon, Neil and Jay – finish sixth form. So, for the movie, the writers decided on it being about a ‘lad’s holiday’ that they go on after school’s finished.
So the whole film revolves around what the boys get up to during their trip. In true Inbetweeners style, this leads to parts that are as much cringe-worthy as they are hilarious. Now I must warn you, this film is not, I repeat NOT, for those with a sensitive disposition. It features many a penis and some of the crudest dialogue you will ever hear on the big screen. It’s certainly not something to take your grandma to.
Something that you will realise early on is that this is still very much the Inbetweeners, and that the film is not trying to be something it isn’t. I personally think this is a good thing, but at the same time, the production values aren’t much higher than the series and it certainly feels like an extended episode rather than a big summer movie.
The film did sometimes lose its way during scenes that tried to make it more than the TV show. Many of the emotional scenes were hard to believe because of what you are used to watching the participating characters doing.
The setting worked to an extent and provided the writers with plenty of material, but naturally a lad’s holiday in the Mediterranean is not as easy to relate to as the last few years of school, and having 95% of the film being set away from the UK didn’t quite feel the same.
The film did suffer from not really having much of a plot and being more like a series of events. This works in a half-hour episode, but the film lacked a driving force throughout the 90-odd minutes
So in summary, if you enjoyed the TV series then you will enjoy this, but it certainly won’t convert anyone who didn’t. It has regular laughs and everything else you would expect from an Inbetweeners episode, but nothing more that really works. Not quite the epic finale that it set out to be, but a solid, thoroughly enjoyable comedy for teenagers and young adults.