Friday, 19 August 2011

213: Review - The Inbetweeners Movie

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

The Inbetweeners Movie poster

The Inbetweeners Movie
18th August 2011. Location: Cinema

Pre-amble: I like The Inbetweeners. Since I heard the rumour that the powers-that-be were making a movie of it, I've reserved judgement. I saw it last night. Let judgement commence.

On the plus side: My local cinema had two showings of this on Wednesday, and two on Thursday. All four of these sold out completely. It wasn't in the mahoosive Screen 1 or 5, but in Screen 2 which I think is around the 250 capacity mark. Filling the auditorium on Orange Wednesday isn't unknown, but to do the same on Full Price Thursday is to be commended. The good reviews and bums-on-seats that The Inbetweeners Movie is getting is great news for everybody.

That being said: …why is this on in the cinema? This isn't a film, it's a feature-length TV show (there's a massive difference, but feel free to take it to the comments if you disagree). I'm guessing there's now a generation of people who don't remember the TV>Movie adaptations of the 1970's (and/or don't ever skip past ITV3 when they're on), and therefore don't treat the very idea of TIbM with a mixture of trepidation and dread…

The Plot: Four school-leaver friends go on holiday to Malia and swear a lot. Funnier than it sounds.

The Good: If you like The Inbetweeners, it doesn't disappoint. It's got exactly the same vibe as the TV series (which is a nice way of saying it hasn't been adapted to the movie format particularly well), with a few extra swears thrown in. Actually, there are a lot of swears thrown in. Normally I'd be questioning the wisdom of this, but as the language is a) in keeping with the characters, b) in keeping with teenage boys, and c) pretty much how I speak when I'm not in polite company, I really can't complain. There are a couple of c-bombs in the film which I didn't think were that necessary, but they kind of work in context.

The Bad: TIbM is funny for the first hour or so, but then really seems to drag. I don't know if it's because the format isn't really meant to be watched for this length of time with no breaks, or maybe it's the lack of the TV series intro-music, incidental music and Will's commentary disappearing five minutes into the proceedings? Whatever the reason, there's not a lot to hold your attention after an hour of cock-jokes (and 90% of those consist of the characters saying "cock").

The Ugly: Secondary characters top-and-tail the film while the main-four (oh, and Carly) go on holiday. While they're there, they laugh, cry, bicker, and discover new things about themselves. So as adaptations go, it's like a train-crash carrying the cast of Are You Being Served, On The Buses, and Kevin and Perry Go Large, with Superbad picking throughout the wreckage. Unfortunately, the cliches don't end there, and the sub-plots of the individual characters (old and new) are so telegraphed that I was constantly reminded that this is aimed at 17yr olds. I'm not saying that 17yr old have poor taste in films, just that statistically they're less likely to find the content derivative as they have a smaller back-catalogue to refer to.

What you don't see: It occurred to me in the closing segment that the bit in the trailer where Neil is getting the tattoo, isn't in the film. By which I mean, the entire tattoo subplot isn't there. No doubt this will turn up on the DVD either as extras, or in an 'Uncut! Too rude for the cinema!' version. Where they'll also likely say "cock" a lot more.

All in all: For an episode of The Inbetweeners, it's good. For a movie, it's not. But it kept me engaged (well, for the first hour), and made a lot of people laugh a lot of the time, so it's doing something right.

Worth paying £8+ to see? Not particularly. Bear in mind that it'll be out on DVD in three months, be less than a fiver in six, and be on the telly within the year. Your choice, really.


I was going to mark this lower, but it's good for what it is, and it puts Hall Pass and Your Highness to shame. It's just not a movie.
I probably won't watch it again until I'm beered-up and doing an Inbetweeners marathon. Which is fair enough.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organizations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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