It was a tradition a long time ago that the UK brought their best loved small screen characters to the big screen. This didn't really do any favours for cinema with bad memories of the likes of On The Buses and Bless This House.
Yet, luckily for fans and first-timers alike, this is no Kevin & Perry Go Large fiasco. It seems that the makers of the surprise hit Ch4 comedy have decided to stick closely to their roots and not stray too far from the formula that made it a much-loved modern piece of TV viewing.
It always prided itself on the fact that somewhere during its episodes, you would be able to relate to what the four friends were going through. And here, despite opening up the canvas to encompass the world - well, Malia at least but for them it may as well be! - the film that ends the stories of the misfit bunch of mates, never cashes itself in.
There's no real learning curve for the lads. There's no "boys to men" moment where you finally see that these socially inept guys will be OK in the future because they've moved up any ladder you care to mention - socially, intellectually etc. And there's the winning tactic. It might have got a cheer from the audience if during one scene where one of the boys is challenged, he were to fight back or try and land a punch, but then, that's not them. That wouldn't fit with our understanding and love of them and would have come across like abit of Hollywood-isation.
Yes, it does feel like a long episode but that's not a bad thing. Especially when the writing has been pretty much spot on and continues as such here on the big screen. Like alot of episodes, the film has its moments where the humour stops and the absence of laughter feels all the more prominent due to the fact that you've been snorting your popcorn out all over the place beforehand, but the jokes then start up again and keep on coming.
The cringe factor remains high throughout, especially for Simon who continues to mention his ex, Carly, to the girl who likes him despite him being a "dick to her." Jay delivers all the sex-related lines of dialogue which will be repeated throughout summer (but cannot be typed here!) and Will continues to be a "foot-in-his-mouth" know-it-all who can talk himself out of losing his virginity without realising it. The "nearly an epiphany" moment strangely goes to Neil whose words of wisdom turns the holiday round from disaster - "I stopped worrying when I realised that God is just dog backwards. Now I just have fun." That's as deep as it gets, and rightly so!
A fitting ending to a group of lads that deserved to be loved by viewers and will remain fondly in our hearts and minds for a long time. Proper filthy!
UK release date: 19.08.11