Movie review: Third installment of Steve Coogan’s ‘Trip’ movies a pleasure, even if uneven

Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan in “The Trip To Spain,” opening September 15 at Athens Ciné. (Photo: IFC Films)

At one point in “The Trip to Spain,” Rob Brydon, at a restaurant table in Spain, imitates Mick Jagger imitating Rob Brydon imitating Michael Caine. And then Steve Coogan jumps in, imitating Brydon imitating Jagger imitating Brydon imitating Caine, throwing in a head-jerking, peacocky move and a puffed-out penguin chest and a weird little airborne clap, and all you can think is, a) yes, that is exactly what Mick Jagger sounds like, and b) I wish I were at that table.

That’s the pleasure of the uneven but enjoyable “Trip” movies, of which this is the third installment: For better or worse, it’s almost like being at that table. Directed by Michael Winterbottom (“In This World,” “Tristram Shandy,” “A Mighty Heart”), this trio is perhaps filmdom’s oddest franchise: It’s based on a BBC series in which British actors Brydon and Coogan – playing characters who happen to be British actors named Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan – travel through England (“The Trip,” 2010), Italy (“The Trip to Italy,” 2014) and now Spain; they dine in lovely restaurants, stay in beautiful hotels and, mostly, sit around doing impressions between bites.

If this sounds like a rather weak hook to hang an entire movie on, well, I won’t argue: The “Trip” movies, like the anchovies Coogan and Brydon happily devour, aren’t to everyone’s taste. This installment, despite a fair bit of bittersweet musing about middle age (noting that they are now ripe fruit, one wonders “Is it better to be plucked, or to drop?”) and some amusing allusions to “Don Quixote,” is as plotless as ever, and the cooking/food shots still seem like outtakes from a promotional travel video. (This leaves much time for pondering the fact that the older Brydon gets, the more he looks and sounds like Hugh Grant. Could Grant please join them for the next outing?)

But oh, those impressions, which this time include Brando, John Hurt, Ian McKellen, Bogart, Woody Allen, Anthony Hopkins and a truly fabulous “Stones doing Shakespeare” bit, in case you’ve ever wondered what Mick Jagger’s Hamlet might sound like. I hadn’t; turns out, I was missing something.

“The Trip To Spain” opens September 15th at Athens Cine. Visit www.athenscine.com for show times.

Topics

 

More

Wed, 2017-10-18 11:44am

Movies Now Playing in Athens