The Inbetweeners 2 (2014)
1st April 2018
After the fun of their holiday in Malia with no parents, no teachers and little chance with the ladies, the boys are back home and back to normal. With Will at university in Bristol and inviting Simon and Neil to a party (dressed as Harry Potter characters), it doesn't take long for the group to realise that (a) the party isn't fancy dress (b) they aren't welcome and (c) Neil has found a useful app on his phone called Grindr. Normal service has been well and truly resumed then.
But one of the boys is missing - Jay. He's currently in Australia ("the sex capital of the world") on his gap year. So when Neil receives an email from him explaining the virtues of Australian girls, their love of everything Pommie and their fondness for anal, the boys become rather jealous of his amazing life. With Jay also inviting them to come and visit, once they learn of Jay's daily morning blow jobs, his amazing job as a DJ in the biggest club in Sydney (stage name "DJ Big Penis"), and all whilst living in a mansion full of ready - and willing - beautiful girls, it's an invitation they simply can't turn down.
With Simon's girlfriend, Lucy, slowly turning into a control freak (and burning his trainers and cutting up his hoodies just in case he decides to stray) and Will still the most unpopular guy on his university campus, it doesn't take long for the boys to take up Jay's offer. So it's time to say "G'day mate", pack those rucksacks, kiss the parents goodbye (well, they all try to kiss Will's mother...) and head off for their big adventure down under.
However, upon arrival, they quickly discover that all is not what it seems. Jay actually works in the club toilets dishing out aftershave and towels, drives an old car covered with Peter Andre artwork and lives in a tent on his uncle's front lawn (with a glory hole in the ground for some personal "entertainment" time). Naturally, the boys are mightily disappointed at what they find. Still, you would have thought by now they'd realise that Jay's stories are to be taken with an extremely large pinch of salt... and then, just for good measure, another dose of salt.
With no mansion or fleet on beauties on tap, Will convinces the group to embark on a real traveling experience by backpacking their way around Australia (well, by driving in the "Peter Andre" mobile) and taking in some of the cultural sights.
It's only now that the holiday really begins - with unintentional wedding proposals, jolly sing-songs around the camp fire, an IBS incident at a water park which will put you off water slides for life, and a deathly, and "waterless" trip into the scorching outback... oh, and the real reason why Jay has ventured halfway around the world.
The picture is sharp and detailed with a good range of colours and contrast levels. With Australia offering a massive range of colours, the many beaches and outback locations look ever so inviting (well, ok, perhaps not so much with the outback) with bright oranges, yellows, blues and greens all out in force. Black levels are solid throughout and there's no sign of any artifacting or other forms of picture imperfections. In fact, picture wise, you could probably say that this Blu-ray is pretty much "bang on the money".
The audio is provided by DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack with a sampling rate of 48 Kbps and a bitrate of 2385 Kbps. It's all pretty standard stuff with a dialogue heavy track along with the familiar musical score associated with the Inbetweeners taking precedence. Fortunately, the dialogue is crystal clear in the centre along with some pretty good stereo steerage in the front channels too. Although the opening scenes are impressively busy, the surround channel tends to be used sparingly, whilst, other than the nightclub scene, I can't say I noticed any activity from the subwoofer.
Never the less, given that it's not a big Hollywood blockbuster - more of your usual standard British film made to a limited budget - it still manages to satisfy the viewer, but whether the Blu-ray will offer anything more in the picture and sound stakes than the standard DVD is a debatable one.
The menu is scored and pleasantly animated with clips from the film playing in the background. The menu is nicely designed with various menu options displayed on road sign styled buttons. This can be a little confusing to navigate around, but once you get the hang of things, it's fairly easy to find things.
Extras wise, there's a pretty good selection on offer with audio commentaries and featurettes that provides a good insight into the production.
First up are the two Audio Commentaries. Given the genuine banter between the actors, the Audio commentary with Simon Bird, James Buckley, Blake Harrison & Joe Thomas soon descends into chaos, with "insults" constantly thrown between them and ends up being something more akin to a pub conversation after a couple of pints of shandy.
With nothing of interest to learn, I quickly got bored and moved onto the far more interesting Audio commentary with writers Iain Morris & Damon Beesley who point out interesting references to other films and how the all-important continuous sequence of Jay was filmed. It's not what I would call a "must listen to" for fans of the series, but film buffs (who'll probably not be watching this film anyway!?) will find plenty of useful and interesting information about the film's various locations in Australia and how the production went about.
Next we have the 21 minute featurette From the East End to the Outback. What starts out as lots of messing about from Simon Bird, James Buckley, Blake Harrison and Joe Thomas soon turns into something more interesting. With clips of the script read through (interjected with numerous silly games - such as "dolphin baseball"), there's interviews with the cast and crew, interesting details on the location scouting mission to Australia, and details about how they filmed the opening scene and the "single shot" scene in the mansion. Interesting stuff.
If you like to see people messing about, cursing and generally fluffing their lines then the 15 minutes worth of Blooper Reel will be right up your street. For the rest of us, we can skip over that and head over to the 16 minutes of Deleted Scenes, some of which are more interesting that others. Some of the scenes are still "rough cuts" whilst others, such as a conversation and "incident" on the flight to Australia, were more than likely trimmed for pacing purposes.
Things are rounded off nicely with the Teaser Trailer.
During the promotion tours of the film, the cast and crew had been implying that they couldn't take the Inbetweeners any further and that would be the end of the boys adventures. But, like the American Pie films that came before them, and given the right script writers, I'm sure that there's plenty of madcap adventures still to be had. How about fatherhood, a stag party, or even a wedding for one of the unfortunate ones? Tell you what, I'll even have a go at writing a script (for a 5% fee!) as I'm sure Will has quite a few more rants and plenty more mishaps in him yet. Also, given that The Inbetweeners 2 was the biggest British comedy hit of 2014, there's got to be more money in the Inbetweeners franchise yet - and I'm sure this is something which hasn't gone unnoticed by the production team, and the people who control the purse strings.
I just hope Simon, James, Blake and Joe haven't moved on too much in their careers to rule out another adventure. After all, it's not as if they're Hollywood 'A' listers demanding red M&Ms and spring water from the peaks of the Himalayas which has been blessed by the local monks.
Whilst the overall film is a 15, in order to obtain this category in the DVD/Blu-ray release the BBFC requested cuts of 11 minutes to be made to the Deleted Scenes. Whilst they state that a potential 18 version is available, releasing such as disc would greatly reduce the target market it could become available to. As such, I very much doubt it'll find its way onto a special edition release any time soon - unless a money spinning "anniversary" edition appears, or we're teased with fanciful ideas of another sequel.
Having received the British Comedy Award for Best Comedy Film, The Inbetweeners 2 is a crude and crazy laugh from beginning to end. If you're a fan of the original television series on E4 then you're bound to be a fan of the boys disastrous sexual mishaps and adventures. Complete with a great collection of extras and crude sexual innuendos that would made the Carry On team blush, the British take on the Porky's and American Pie is a cracker. You really should grab yourself a copy. Just remember not to watch it when Grandma comes to visit.
Oh, and a final word of warning - this film may put you off Water Slides for life...
- Audio commentary with Simon Bird, James Buckley, Blake Harrison & Joe Thomas
- Audio commentary with writers Iain Morris & Damon Beesley
- Behind the Scenes Featurette
- Extended and Deleted Scenes
- Blooper Reel
- East End to the Outback Featurette
- Teaser trailer