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The Way Back / Inbetweeners 2

By Ollypj @OllyPJ

Not to be confused with another title from my previous post of film reviews, The Way Back begins in a Siberian Prisoner of War camp, set during World Way II. This story charts the events of survival within the camp and then follows a small group of courageous individuals, as they escape the clutches of Communism in their own quest for freedom.


It’s inspired by The Long Walk, a memoir released in 1956 by a former Polish prisoner who walked four-thousand miles to his own freedom, after an escape. So, while it may not be about a religious experience or a search to rediscover yourself; this film’s prose ultimately surrounds a long walk of sorts. But the kind of long-distance challenge that you or I would surely not set our sights upon.

I was only able to sit through this film in its entirety on my third viewing – within the first, I’d fallen asleep midway through and, throughout attempt No.2, I was holding a conversation with someone through social media.

It was interesting, as it often is in films, to see what life might have been like for prisoners back then, especially when faced with a Siberian winter. Most members of the group who make the escape are of European descent (Polish, Latvian, etc.) but they’re also joined by an American, played by Ed Harris. People who’d never met before and may’ve been enemies within the camp… They perhaps had little else in common beyond the goal – a situation that could either make or break a team and its mission. That was one of the most interest features of this film – seeing the group as individuals and then, how they would act as they came together.

Despite having seen all the TV episodes several times, I would not consider myself a fan of The Inbetweeners… I used to waste a lot of free evenings watching TV and it seemed to be on E4 almost every night. Their sense of humour’s too crude for my own preference and yet, there’s something ‘watchable’ about it all the same.

I imagine this is what it might feel like for people who didn’t like The Office [the original, of course, long before Steve Carrell!] to sit down and watch it… Just for your assurance, I did enjoy The Office and then Extras.

A couple of years ago, I watched the first film – again, through the power of TV – and although I was interested to see what might happen, I didn’t really enjoy it and felt that resources might’ve been better spent on a third series instead.

So, what did I recently make of The Inbetweeners 2?

Well, I thought even less of it than I did the first film and I hope they do not attempt a third! Some of the humor was as retch-worthy as ever, while one scene at least left me feeling like I may have to go and stick my head down the toilet at any moment. It was largely predictable and pretty much an identical formula presented in a new environment.

One a more positive note, there was one scene involving a rape alarm that I thought was well done, along with an early scene where, through the reading of an e-mail Neil has received, we learn of Jay’s “apparent” new life on the other side of the world. I could also raise some praise for the fact the film begins briefly in Bristol. Actually, I found their take on the pretentious ‘Traveller Vs. Holidaymaker‘ to be quite humorous in the beginning.

Thanks for reading.

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