Freshly graduated from high school and donning custom-made “Pussay Patrol” T-shirts, the four venture to the coastal Crete town of Malia for two weeks of constant drinking and, with luck, shagging. As uninspired as that setup is, it allows England to prove it can make teen comedies as unfunny as we Americans.
As one expects, our zero heroes (Simon Bird, James Buckley, Blake Harrison and Joe Thomas, all reprising their tube roles) can’t win at anything: Their accommodations are wretched; they’re suckered into the emptiest bar in town; and hot girls turn rather cold on them. Still, with valiance, The Inbetweeners Movie insists on shoehorning in visual and verbal gags on penises both flaccid and erect, vomiting on strangers and trying to shove turds down the bidet.
All this wouldn’t seem so stupid if the characters weren’t so, well, stupid. With closed fists, they penetrate the veil of disbelief-suspension by behaving how people with functional brain stems simply don’t. For example, the horniest of the kids keeps his money rolled tight inside his “arsehole.” For another, not that you need it, the stereotypical Bad Jock fails to notice a clump of someone else’s poo resting along his nostril.
I didn’t laugh once, but I smiled twice. It’s like 2004’s EuroTrip all over again, but with a vocabulary of UK slang, albeit centered around one thing, i.e. “minge” and “clunge.” Despite an overall vibe of likability initially radiated and a sparkling introduction to actress Laura Haddock (the BBC’s Upstairs Downstairs), the needlessly narrated movie never becomes the “corker” it so desperately wants. —Rod Lott