Chris Schulz is the deputy head of entertainment for the New Zealand Herald.

Movie review: The Inbetweeners 2

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The Inbetweeners' moments of Outback humour are those that will be remembered fondly.
The Inbetweeners' moments of Outback humour are those that will be remembered fondly.

Dick jokes, bad taste buddy banter, more dick jokes. When The Inbetweeners began back in 2008, the cult UK comedy show took a simple but poignant look at adolescent awkwardness that only occasionally veered into more puerile territory.

Fast-forward to 2014. The freedom three-seasons-and-a-hit-movie has granted the show's creators means the second and final film spin-off morphs into a spectacle of gross-out gruesomeness.

Read more: Inbetweeners crew back for one last gross out blast

Prepare yourselves, Inbetweeners fans, because this sequel more closely resembles the antics of Sacha Baron Cohen's Borat and cult TV hit Little Britain than its lighthearted, school-based beginnings.

Dogs will lick human testicles. Faeces will be smeared across faces. In one dehydrated desert scene, urine will be drunk.

And as for those dick jokes, this time around they involve seeing actual (probably prop) genitals.

At times it feels like The Inbetweeners 2 -- which transports its socially inept stars Will, Jay, Neil and Simon to Australia for a gap year holiday -- is trying to be as visually offensive as possible.

That will go down a treat with the show's target market of young males. And The Inbetweeners isn't short on easy laughs, with many of the Australian-based jokes translating well to Kiwi crowds.

At one point, a koala bear is punched in the face. In another, a dolphin is given CPR after choking on a hamburger. And there's plenty of mocking of the Aussie accent.

But besides the gross-out factor, there's not enough going on elsewhere. The story is basically a retread of the first Inbetweeners film, with the quartet transplanted overseas for another fish-out-of-water experience.

App users: Tap here to watch the trailer for The Inbetweeners 2.

Yes, there's a nicely dry commentary on backpacker cliches -- specifically the one-upmanship boasting of exploits between budget travellers. And the opening dream sequence involving Jay is a brilliantly executed moment of Australian cliche mockery.

What really saves The Inbetweeners 2 from being one long gross-out retread is the chemistry between the four leads. Despite the growing age gap between the actors (all are nearing their 30s) and the characters (around 18), the quartet share an anti-Entourage kinship that shines best whenever they're all on screen together.

The best moments are the simple ones. Put these guys in a car together, send them into the Outback, and watch the hilarity ensue. It's those moments we're going to miss -- not the ones involving poo.

Cast: Simon Bird, Joe Thomas, James Buckley, Blake Harrison
Director: Damon Beesley and Iain Morris
Running time: 96 minutes
Rating: R16
Verdict: Franchise has its own awkward goodbye

- TimeOut

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