In the third movie of their “Trip” series, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are back for another adventure in fine dining, comic impressions, and literary references. In their first movie, they traveled around England. In the second, they visited Italy. In the third, they’re in Spain — thus the Don Quixote/Sancho Panza photo, complete with windmills.
You could call it Moore Of The Same, because there are a couple of scenes with the two guys doing dueling (and perfect) Roger Moore impersonations. As they’ve proven in the past, they’re both very talented at doing voices, and this time they also take on Mick Jagger, John Hurt, Marlon Brando, David Bowie, and Monty Python’s “Spanish Inquisition.”
Most of those scenes made me laugh out loud. In fact, just spending time with Coogan and Brydon is amusing, although there are some serious subplots involving Coogan’s son, his love life, his career obstacles and successes like “Philomena” (which earned him two Oscar nominations). Brydon, meanwhile, is the happily-married father of two whose success has been mostly limited to Britain. While Coogan fights with his agent over getting a new screenplay produced, Brydon is content to Facetime with his wife in bed.
Along the way, they stay in some amazing places, eat wonderfully prepared meals, and share the kind of bond only old friends can sustain during a week-long road trip. The scenery and cinematography are magnificent, thanks again to director Michael Winterbottom. As I understand it, he and the two stars don’t write scripts — they simply outline what will happen in each scene and then improvise — but there must be multiple takes to get in all the camera angles. Whatever the method, it continues to work well.
My one complaint is with the last ten minutes, when Coogan and Brydon have parted ways and the former moves on to something else that goes nowhere and ends suddenly for no reason. When you’ve signed on for an adventure with two and end up with one, it’s disappointing.
That aside, I hope they keep traveling together and sharing their experiences with us every couple of years, as I’m happy to join them on all of their trips.
I give “The Trip To Spain” an 8 out of 10.