The Two Reviews: The Trip to Spain (2017 Michael Winterbottom)

‘…a rather lackluster way to end the trilogy…’

This is the third installment of Coogan and Brydon’s sojourn of comic impersonations, while sampling culinary delights and generally driving about. The first was set in Northern England, the second along the coast of Italy and now the third in Spain. This is the least interesting of the three films, but there are still enjoyable celebrity impressions and comic banter to be viewed throughout. My personal highlight was Brydon’s Roger Moore. But I would have preferred more of a focus on the food in this third film. In the previous two, Coogan and Brydon discuss the food, which weaves in a richer, more textured experience. Spain in this film is simply a backdrop – an excuse to work in the sunshine for a few weeks. And that’s what it feels like. The ending is also out of sync with the rest of the film. It feels protracted and bizarre and is a rather lackluster way to end the trilogy. I hear this is the last in the series – good decision.

Reviewed by Robin Stevens – Rated 3/5


‘…too much of the same banter for little reward…’

There appears to be a lot of luxury in playing ‘versions’ of oneself in a film/TV series. From podcast interviews that I have heard, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon come across as decent, intelligent and genuinely nice blokes who have a talent for comedic acting. These are clearly not the ‘versions’ you see and hear in this and the two other films that preceded it. Of course, we should be under no illusions – The Trip series is nothing but a staged version of reality where two celebrities are being paid to wander around rating restaurants for an article in a popular newspaper. The pitch is just an excuse for Coogan and Brydon to do a bit of acting and for Winterbottom, a prolific and sometimes distasteful director, to sell a movie based on a heightened quirkiness. While the initial film, set in the northern climes of England, presented the idea in a delightfully understated way, the subsequent chapters, including this one in Spain, have expended too much of the same banter for little reward. Yes, the impressions are hilarious (the Roger Moore/Moors in Spain scene is absolutely brilliant) and the glee in which Brydon takes on Coogan’s awkwardness is always watchable but there is zero insight into anything here, only perhaps that privilege is a nice thing when you have it.

Reviewed by JJ McDermott – Rated 3/5


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