THE INBETWEENERS 2 REVIEW

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Review Wanker! Bants. Anyway, the Pusssaaaiii patrol are back and better than ever? Certainly close in a riotous reunion as the lads tackle Down Under.

Has it really been six years since these four teenage misfits first hit our screens on E4 and brought along a sleeper hit complete with a collection of phrases that have entered the the English vocabulary?

It’s always tough to make comparisons to something that has been consistently funny. I always found any of the entries falling short of that first series but don’t get me wrong, they’ve still been brilliant and now . . .

Three years after the movie hit the big screens, another sequel has inevitably appeared and boy have I missed the Inbetweeners and they still haven’t overstayed their welcome.

Now firstly, if you’re not a fan then . . . why are you on here? Secondly, I don’t think this entry will change your mind but . . . if you are then Fwend, Inbetweeners Fwend. The gang are all back and as soon as the strangely bizarre opening credit sequence passes, the lads are still bluffing and bumbling their way along . . . this time at uni.

Will (Simon Bird) is managing to be a . . . Uni wanker, proving highly unpopular among his “class mates”. Simon (Joe Thomas) is now trying to escape his psychopathic girlfriend Lucy (Tamla Kari . . . yeah, same bird from the first film) and Neil is . . . well, Neil (Blake Harrison).

While Jay (James Buckley) is living it up large down in Oz getting blowies every morning; if his hilarious messages to the lads is anything to go by. As soon as Jay starts, you know what you’re getting in for.

It all starts off a little slow burning, if cringe-inducingly funny as the lads inevitably decide to go travelling and surprise Jay. But once they unite, it gets better and better. Each gag getting even more wrong . . . but incredibly funny. Damon Beesley and Ian Morris still manage to deliver quotable lines and some new gags to pull on the lads down at the pub.

They even manage to steal a gag from one of my all time comedies Kevin and Perry Go Large and take it to a whole new level of disgusting with hilarious results. Now I’m not going to divulge details because I want you lot to see it.

The lines are fantastic. The observations from the lads as they experience travelling and messing it up in hostels are spot on! Jay’s opinion on people around camp fires playing guitars had me in stitches. That is until Will gives it a crack. Oh yeah . . . it’s just as good as you think. The lads still play the parts well and each of them get a moment to shine. There are so many good moments but I can’t spoil it.

The whole gap year douche bag running gag is perfectly personified by the dreadlocked yuppie Ben (Freddie Stroma). I was struggling to decide whether this film was better than the last but as I’m writing, the more scenes I think of; the more I smile.

Familiar faces pop up (Of course, Will’s mum is back! The alluring Belinda Stewart-Wilson) and new faces are introduced in the beautiful Emily Berrington (who was recently in the revived 24 series) and new quips with Jay’s revolting but incredibly funny Australian uncle Barry.

The first film had a lot of hype and pressure and although funny as hell, felt a bit long at the tooth, especially when the lads were scrapping. Inevitably that happens again this time around but to a funnier and much shorter result. The fact the film is trimmed in length, makes it a lot zippier and by the end . . . you actually want more.

There was a questionable lull nearer the end when the lads struggle to endure the Outback but it does lead to a funny pay off. I think it would be no surprise to say that yet again it’s left all open with the tease of another.

And if they stay this good, then keep ’em coming. Get to the cinema, you bumders!

4/5

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THE HARRY HILL MOVIE

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Was it any good? There’s only one way to find out? FIGHT . . . I mean, review.

What the hell did I just watch?!

Now for those familiar with the award winning TV Burp, I’m sure you can imagine what to expect. BUT even that wouldn’t live up to your expectations. It is ridiculously stupid, bizarre, random and unfortunately, for most of it, unfunny.

Another one to add to the pile of poor TV to film adaptations. There seems to be somewhat of a curse with this transition. The Inbetweeners and Kevin and Perry Go Large being the exceptions.

A little harsh and to its defense, its NOT a complete dud, contrary to reviews I’ve read. When it’s funny, it nails it. And I had the odd chuckle. The opening act didn’t give me much hope with a drawn out and highly unfunny mobile scooter race.  BUT luckily there was the odd moment to reprieve itself.

So what’s it about? Harry’s pet hamster Abu (voiced by none other than Johnny Vegas. Brilliant!) only has a week to live. So Harry and his nan, played by the legendary actress that is Julie Walters plan to give him the best week of his life by taking him to . . . Blackpool on one of the most trippy and mental road trips I’ve imagined.

However, all is not what it seems, as Hill’s evil twin, Otto (played by Matt Lucas) has an evil plan at foot.

Silly and just plain daft. BUT there were moments where you just couldn’t help but laugh at the sheer energy and randomness of Hill’s surreal sequences. From the simple task of Harry getting an egg from the chicken coop, it soon becomes a military assault with armed chickens blowing up the back garden?! And Mr. Hill screaming, “I’m henned in”.

What surprised me about this film was the sheer number of cameos from a great supporting British cast. Simon Bird (Will from the Inbetweeners) played the dimwitted henchman with aplomb. His creepy Justin Bieber disguise still haunting my thoughts.

I can’t believe Julie Walters did this. It was great to see her having fun but I can’t help but feel that this was a step down. And Jim Broadbent?! Playing a cross dressing cleaner in a nuclear power station? Great to see him but I just wish he featured in a better scene. Or a funnier one for that matter.

Matt Lucas was wasted as Otto. Apart from his hilarious back story about being raised by a pack of wild Alsatians on the M6, he failed to make a real impression.

The Magic Numbers Bed and Breakfast hotel was fantastic. I couldn’t believe that the Magic Numbers, one of my favourite bands, was in this! And a surprise car wash sing song with Shingai Shoniwa, lead singer of the Noisettes, was a treat.

For every miss, there is a hit BUT it appears that Hill and the crew soon milk that winning cow until the udders are dry. The angry white van man voice on a Sat Nav was a good joke – “Oi turn left, you toilet!” BUT switching it to Sheila mode, the angry van man’s wife. Yeah, not so much.

A drawn out skit with the ancient race of Shell people and Barney Cull (Nope, can’t fight it, BELLY LAUGH!) who are rioting against the merchandise stores for stealing their children featuring the likes of The Mighty Boosh’s Julian Barratt and the lovely Sheridan Smith was so-so at best.

BUT the song and dance numbers don’t do anything to hide how dreadful this mad escapade was. Walters burping, rapping and spitting out fire? No, no, no. The Dachshund 5 tribute act with their wearing little afros? Irritatingly adorable!

The film didn’t really have a plot or story. It was trippy as hell and nothing really made sense. In a way it reminded me of the old 60s Swinging London British movies that Richard Lester produced. Just watch out for the Brain people and you’ll know what I mean.

If you’re a fan of HH, it’s surreal randomness can be hit and miss compared to the brilliant TV Burp. It’s mental and strangely watchable BUT for all the wrong reasons. I felt like I had been on a bad trip. Bring back the Burp Harry 😦

2/5