BAFTA award-winning television series The Inbetweeners proved a huge ratings success, chronicling the misadventures of four teenage lads whose main quest was to get drunk and pull girls.
Now the boys make the move to the big screen in the succinctly titled The Inbetweeners Movie.
This time the characters are off on their first holiday to Malia, Crete, with no parents, no teachers, no money and as little chance with the ladies as ever.
If you’re a fan of the show then you’re going to find a lot to enjoy on their overseas adventure but writers Damon Beesley and Iain Morris, who penned the TV series, also succeed in creating a standalone feature that’s sure to delight and shock a new audience.
The film opens on a sweeping aerial shot of suburbia, the camera moving swiftly along streets and houses in a way that’s impossible to achieve on the small screen.
We’re reintroduced to pompous Will (Simon Bird) as he is being berated by his father (Anthony Head); the gormless but perpetually happy Neil (Blake Harrison) packing up his supermarket shift mid-service; the ever boastful and lusty Jay (James Buckley) getting discovered by his mum in a compromising position involving ham; and a heartbroken Simon (Joe Thomas), in tears because he has been dumped.
As the four wave goodbye to Rudge Park Comprehensive, the scene of so much humiliation, they decide they need a proper lads’ holiday to reinvent themselves.
Of course, these are the endearingly useless “Inbetweeners” so from the moment their pink slogan T-shirts are banned following a fantastic slow motion walk through the airport, nothing goes according to plan. Their accommodation is a hell-hole, they wind up in the saddest club on the resort strip, get in scrapes, get drunk and then get naked.
In short there’s humiliation on a regular basis – but somehow the chums actually meet some girls.
It’s always tricky to expand a TV set-up to the silver screen – Kevin And Perry Go Large is testament to that – but the writers, along with the director Ben Palmer, have succeeded.
There are a few scenes that fall flat.
The moment Simon sells his clothes stands out and the early dialogue is little clunky as a potential new audience is introduced to the boys. But there’s also a lot to savour.
Like the series, the film is rude and cringe-inducing with lots of scenes that will have you laughing out loud, and to their credit, the writers haven’t been afraid to slow the pace down to allow for the odd poignant moment too.
The film won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but if you’re after fun and silliness and a reminder of the perils of being young, then you’re sure to enjoy this celebration of the ordinary teenager – in all its messy glory.