This is a review of the movie version of The Trip that was released. I haven’t seen the series so I don’t know what was all cut out. I think it worked pretty well as a movie, though I’m sure the series was better since some of the running bits would have gotten a chance to be fleshed out.
So The Trip. Most people probably won’t like this, but I could be wrong. I have a sneaking suspicion that fans of Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are probably the only people who will dig this. Really before you watch the film or series you need to find Tristam Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story and watch that. This series/film spawned from what Brydon and Coogan do in that film. Actually Michael Winterbottom directed both.
For anyone unaware, Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan are doing exaggerations of themselves. It isn’t an actual documentary. Again they did this to some extent in Tristam Shandy and this time they have an entire series (or film) devoted to their bickering. It’s great because both men are extraordinarily funny to begin with.
So this film is about Brydon and Coogan going on food tasting trip in the north of England. They visit some old houses and eat fancy food. Long road drives and a lot of bickering with the occasional bonding moments. Also there’s some focus on Coogan’s personal troubles, which didn’t seem to mesh all that well in the film, but I guess I just wanted Coogan and Brydon 24/7.
Coogan is an ass. In the film, don’t know about real life. He’s supposed to be an ass, but Brydon is a dick as well. The difference is that Brydon has a smile on his face the entire time and is busy doing impressions or making jokes. He isn’t as blatant. It’s actually what helps make the film great. They are both competing with each other and being asses, but in different ways. Really, you shouldn’t like either character.
One big thing about this movie is the impressions. Both are actually really fucking good. Brydon is very well known for his impressions. Unfortunately he was a bit of a let down here. I’ve heard him do Al Pachino really well before. I believe he did an early Pachino and late Pachino, kind of how he did Michael Caine. Here however, his Pachino was pretty crappy and actually at times his Caine impression seemed less than stellar. I’m not sure if this was done on purpose or not though. If it wasn’t I’m not sure why they left it in since he is capable of doing the impression very well.
This movie is not entirely improvised, but there are clearly quite a few moments that are. I’m assuming most of the bickering is and the car rides are as well. About an hour in they go on a great tangent in the car. These moments are part of the reason people should watch this film, even if they don’t know who the actors are, which you don’t need to know them, but it just makes it better.
As funny as the whole movie is, it really is about two middle-aged men. There’s a lot of focus on Coogan trying to cope with his age in various ways.
Defiantly a film worth running out and finding. I’m going to search for the TV series because it’s that great. Hopefully these two do more of this kind of work, because it’s great.