Friday, 6 January 2012

THE INBETWEENERS MOVIE BLU-RAY review

Picking up exactly where the series left off, The Inbetweeners Movie sees the lads jetting off on holiday to soak up all the sun, sea and STDs they can handle. Watch the trailer and read my review, next...

After finishing their final term at school, the four lads from Rudge Park Comprehensive (Simon Bird, Joe Thomas, Blake Harrison and James Buckley) decide to head of to Malia on holiday to hook up with the ladies. Away from the watchful eyes of their parents they let loose the only way they know how, by getting as drunk as humanly possible and trying it on with any girl who looks like they might sleep with them. When Simon's ex-girlfriend Carly turns up on the island, he does everything he can to try and win her back.


The E4 series that started off as a welcome anti-Skins ode to a realistic college experience soon spread via word of mouth into one of the channels biggest runaway hits. When the movie was first announced it did appear to be a case of too much too soon; after all, the show (despite its popularity) was never what you'd describe as a mainstream hit. Fans of the show might be willing to pay money to see the same characters on the big screen, but what about the general public?

The history of British cinema is littered with failed attempts to transpose small screen success onto the big screen, Kevin and Perry Go Large being the obvious comparison. Like Kevin and Perry, they've taken the lads out of their relative comfort in suburbia and off on their summer holidays, but it'd be fairer to liken this attempt to the marginally more successful American Pie 2. But, there's things we do better than Hollywood, including delivering the kind of smut that only seems right with an English accent, more often than not from James Buckley's Jay. As he so wisely states as they arrive in Malia, "the gash isn't going to fuck itself, y'know".

The comedy of embarrassment is all about those moments of cringeworthy social ineptitude, our enjoyment coming from their pain or perhaps the recollections of similar situations in our own mis-spent youth. I'm sure I'm not alone in recognising every one of these guys from high school, and we laugh because we know it's not too far from the truth. The film might be missing out on some of the fantastically quotable catchphrases that are synonymous with the series (surely they could have stuck in one use of bus wankers?), but it does have one of the all time great Inbetweeners moments when the lads approach a group of girls by dancing across a deserted disco towards them.

A film designed for the teenage boy inside all of us, it's far fetched at times with a certain degree of wish fulfillment going on. The group of girls who become the romantic interests would never be interested in these boys in real life, no matter how much they make them laugh with their quick wit and dancing skills; unless they had some serious self esteem issues, of course. The Blu-ray comes with an extended cut that bumps the rating up from a 15 to an 18 due to its "scene in a club in which a man appears to fellate himself". It also features more of the brilliantly acerbic Mr Gilbert as was promised in the film's trailer, but most of the background characters from the series have been reduced down to mere cameos.


Flawed in structure (it's almost like they've produced it like 5 episodes of the show, just in case it needed to be edited down into a new series), the lad's social foibles do seem to have been magnified 1000%; however, there's enough laughs to forgive most of its sins. If anything, the film is more enjoyable on home video format, its natural home. It's quite encouraging to see what a financial success the film was theatrically and it should certainly be applauded, but it's here on Blu-ray and DVD where the film will truly find longevity as the naughty little jewel in the British film industry's crown.

A stern warning to all parents whose children will be going on their first holiday alone next summer, if this is the last time we'll see the lads from the Inbetweeners, they've gone out on a high. Audiences unfamiliar with the series might be a bit bewildered at first as to why we're supposed to care about these socially retarded young men, but by the end of the film you're left with the hope that things are going to turn out alright for them all. Even Jay.


Verdict




Special Features: Boy's Commentary, Girl's Commentary, Writer's Commentary and Director's Commentary. Extended cut available on the 18 certificate Blu-ray only.





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