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the-inbetweeners-2What could possibly have left Hollywood so scared that we’ve been gifted a week without the release of a new action blockbuster? Four former sixth form students is the answer. Not the most intimidating bunch on first glance but boy are they the headliners this weekend.

We’ve seen them struggle through A levels before finishing with a holiday blowout. But if you thought that was the last we’d hear from the intrepid foursome, think again. Back in the imaginatively named The Inbetweeners 2, the friends reunite in Australia to join Jay on his gap year. When the formula has worked so well to date, there is very little reason to change it. Expect more of the same. But when the same keeps delivering laughs then that’s all you need.

In the roll call of Nazi war criminals, they’ll always be a place for Josef Mengele, the conductor of such abysmal experiments at Auschwitz. Adapted by Lucia Puenzo from her own novel, Wakolda focusses on his time on the run in Argentina. The thinly disguised Mengele, now posing as a local doctor, begins experimenting on a young girl stunted by illness. As his behaviour gets out of hand, the family begins to realise what he’s been up to while an Israeli net gradually closes. Puenzo never gets under the skin of Mengele but it remains an intriguing thriller.

Planes was released last year to little fanfare and even less hope of cinematic success. Run almost entirely to bump up DVD sales, it turned into a surprise hit allowing the sequel, Planes: Fire and Rescue, to fly into the cinema as well. Switching the world of racing for wildfire air attack (that’s putting out forest fires to the layman), it offers the same cardboard characters and surprisingly thrilling aerial action. It’s all nonsense but no less diverting for it.

Out on DVD this week is the moment Jason Reitman’s sure touch deserted him. Labor Day tries so hard to tug heartstrings that it almost snaps them in two. It’s not all bad news though. Buried in amongst the overwrought love story between Kate Winslet’s confined mother and Josh Brolin’s escaped convict is a rather touching romance. It’s melodrama out of control but it’s still likely to induce a tear eventually.

That’s all for now. Check back next Friday when the world’s action heroes will be converging once again in The Expendables 3.

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