2 1/2 StarsThis docu/comedy hybrid is extremely pleasing for the majority of its elongated running time. Comedians Steve Coogan and working partner Rob Brydon travel the English country side together enjoying fine food/drink while verbally sparing and comparing celebrity impersonations. After being assigned to review a number of restaurants for a magazine column, Coogan invites his pal Brydon along for the seven day journey. Neither man seems particularly happy to be spending this amount of time with each other. The level of wit and sarcasm the pair repeatedly lobby at one another is the most amusing aspect of this peculiar film.
Presented as a Documentary the film feels largely ad-libbed but outlined, similar to the television series Curb Your Enthusiasm. The events were captured by noted English director Michael Winterbottom who lets the camera sit still for long pauses as these two middle aged men talk life, women, movies and existential wonderment. Brydon and Coogan have a nice on-camera chemistry reminiscent of two brothers constantly bickering over every topic. The wonderful impersonations of Sean Connery, Michael Caine, and Al Pacino (among many others) are hilarious at first but become redundant and annoying by films end.
The Trip is a wonderful idea for a documentary. It starts with a great sense of mischief and timing but falls into a lull at the half way mark that its never able to break out of. This is an ideal concept for reality television or a much shorter doc. at nearly two hours the film runs out of steam long before the end credits. Fans of Coogan’s and Brydon will no doubt find much to admire about The Trip, others may want to abandon the journey early on.
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Stars: Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon, Claire Keelan