If you’re a fan of E4′s popular comedy, then you’ll know exactly what to expect from The Inbetweeners Movie: it’s hilarious, it’s horrible and yet it remains heartwarming; the send-off for the gang could have been a disastrous Hangover clone yet thankfully, it’s anything but. The film follows the four late-teens: Will (Simon Bird), Jay (James Buckley), Simon (Joe Thomas) and Neil (Blake Harrison) as they embark on a lads’ holiday together, at the resort of Malia.

There is, of course, an introduction to the characters covering the first ten minutes or so if you’ve never managed to see the TV series, which gives a brief overview of their traits. There’s the posh Will with his briefcase, University dreams and over-caring Mother; the sex-obsessed Jay with his snorkel, webcam, dirty websites and exaggerated stories; the seemingly average Simon that can’t get his love interest Carli out of his head and the delightfully idiotic Neil.

The writers have done a sterling job with the transition to the big screen – the comedy reflects everything that made the TV show laugh-out-loud funny and won’t alienate new viewers; it’s not filled with in-jokes that could potentially ruin it it for the masses, though there are a few nods here and there. It’s perhaps the characters themselves that will take a bit of getting used to – we’ve had eighteen episodes filled with humorous content, spread over three series, to get to know them, whilst the new people get ten minutes; hardly enough time to bond with the gang.

New viewers won’t, for example, fully understand Simon’s tendency to get infuriated at smaller things or miss the big picture, and therefore might not empathise with him throughout the movie. They might not fully realise the extent of Jay’s fabricated stories or the goofiness of Neil with his genuine stupidity – these are things which can’t be made clear in the ten minute introduction and might be a downfall for those who haven’t watched the E4 hit before.

Fans, however, will love this; they’ll understand the characters and the nature of the comedy, they’ll appreciate the low-key nature of the film which doesn’t try to outdo itself and pack it up to the brim with crazy, drunken antics: instead it substitutes these moments for pure comedy and a good plot which mimics the style of an episode but manages to avoid dragging at any point.

The comedy itself, then, is spot-on, with tons of moments that will have you in a fit of laughter, others which will leave you laughing but disgusted at the same time and many that will make you cringe. Whether it’s an awkward dancing routine in an empty club or a poolside showdown involving being unable to swim and the stealing of sunbeds, the humour never drops for long – after being entertained the entire way through, you’ll be smiling your way out of the cinema and then again every time you remember one of those side-splitting scenes.

There’s a host of new characters, including a group of girls not unlike (yet somehow completely different to) the Inbetweeners themselves, a mad loner partying and showing up throughout the story and a group of ‘cool’ guys that put Jay and Simon in their place. The focus on the four main characters is never lost, however, each of which get a fairly equal amount of gags and screen time.

It’s not all about the jokes, though – there is a fairly decent plot interwoven which makes the film feel like a journey for the group, rather than a comedy routine involving them. The friends are at the strongest they’ve ever been by the end of it all, with great performances from all of the cast; it’s a real showcase of their friendship and there’s a few defining moments that make you realise just how close they’ve become over the years.

How it ends is perhaps one of the greatest achievements; it’s not a long, soppy goodbye and it fits in with the tone perfectly. The Inbetweeners Movie is a success: it’s essentially a bigger, bolder and perhaps even funnier episode of the show and I honestly don’t think anything else would have sufficed. Another brilliant comedy from Film4, albeit one that requires the TV series before it to be really appreciated. Oh, and did I mention it’s very funny?