Movie Reviews
2:21 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Coogan And Brydon's New 'Trip' Is, Well, A Real Trip

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 7:02 pm

Three years ago, comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon made a movie called The Trip, in which they traveled around Britain dining, arguing and doing celebrity impressions, especially of their favorite actor, Michael Caine.

Coogan and Brydon have now made a sequel to The Trip, called The Trip to Italy, and it, too, is filled with "impressioni." In the opening scene, they're tooling down the Viamonte in a rented Mini, Coogan driving, Brydon reading from a tour guide, and pretty quickly establishing that this trip will live up to the ... um ... "standards" of their first.

This, of course, is just a warm-up for the main event ... or what you think is going to be the main event, because they've got other pesce to fry. So they get Michael Caine out of the way a mere nine minutes in — and they're just getting started. In the first film, Coogan came across as a full-of-himself diva, Brydon as a pleasant family man. This time, they turn that dynamic on its head. It's worth mentioning that these two are playing fictional versions of themselves. What's not fictional in their Trip to Italy is the gorgeous Italian coastline director Michael Winterbottom has them romping through, or the food they barely notice (though it'll have you famished by film's end), or the yacht they commandeer, bellowing all the while ...

I'd follow these guys "'round the horn" in a second. Maybe that's where they'll head next time. (Recommended)

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Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Three years ago comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon made a movie called "The Trip." They traveled around Britain dining, arguing and doing celebrity impressions, especially of their favorite actor.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE TRIP")

STEVE COOGAN: (As Steve) I've not heard your Michael Caine but I assume it be something along lines of - my name's Michael Caine.

ROB BRYDON: (As Rob) That's the very thing I don't do.

COOGAN: (As Steve) Do your Michael Caine.

BRYDON: (As Rob) I say, Michael Caine used to talk like this in the 1960s, right? But that has changed. And I say that over the years Michael's voice has come down several octaves - let me finish.

SIEGEL: But Coogan and Brydon have now made a sequel to the trip called "The Trip To Italy." Our critic Bob Mondello says, it too is filled with impressione.

BOB MONDELLO, BYLINE: There they are, tooling down the via Monte in a rented mini. Steve Coogan driving, Rob Brydon reading from a tour guide and pretty quickly establishing that this trip will live up to the highly sophisticated standards of their first.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE TRIP TO ITALY")

BRYDON: (As Rob) Producing Italy's greatest red wines - Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera, Hanna-Barbera.

COOGAN: (As Steve) Suffering succotash. I thought I saw a pussy-cat. I did.

BRYDON: (As Rob) The Trattoria Della pasta.

MONDELLO: OK. We are roughly two minutes and in and already it will have occurred to you that there's a risk here. A risk that has in fact occurred to them as well.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE TRIP TO ITALY")

BRYDON: (As Rob) It just feels odd doing something for a second time. It's like trying to do a sequel. Isn't it? It's never going to be as good as the first time.

COOGAN: (As Steve) "Godfather 2."

BRYDON: (As Rob) Two, which is the one that people always mention when they try to search for an example of a sequel that's as good as...

COOGAN: (As Steve) Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.

BRYDON: (As Rob) What's this licking thing you always do? You look like some sort of small gecko.

COOGAN: (As Steve) It's what Pacino does.

BRYDON: (As Rob) That's what he does. Just when I thought I had made two terrific movies, they go and make another.

MONDELLO: Pacino of course is just a warm-up for the main event, or what you think is going to be the main event because they've other pecce to fry this time. So they get Michael Caine out of the way a mere nine minutes in.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE TRIP TO ITALY")

BRYDON: (As Rob) Did you see him in "The Dark Night Rises?" And his voice gets even more emotional than it's ever done in the past before. I don't want to bury you, Batman, I will not put you into the ground in a little box. I will not do it Master Bruce, I will not do it.

COOGAN: (As Steve) I'm not going to bury another Batman.

BRYDON: (As Rob) Another Batman? How many Batmans has he been burying? How many are there?

COOGAN: (As Steve) I've buried fourteen Batmans.

BRYDON: (As Rob) I've buried fourteen Batmans with their little pointy ears in a box.

COOGAN: (As Steve) I'm not going to bury another nylon cloak with pointy ears that people wear at birthday parties.

BRYDON: (As Rob) And then Christian Bale says, (unintelligible). I want to be a Batman. I don't want to be a normal guy.

MONDELLO: And they're just getting started. In the first film Coogan came across as a full-of-himself diva. Brydon as a pleasant, family man. This time they turn that dynamic on it's head. It's worth mentioning that these two are playing fictional versions of themselves. What's not fictional in their trip to Italy is the gorgeous Italian coastline director Michael Winterbottom has them romping through. Or the food they barely notice, though it'll have you famished by films end. Or the yacht they commandeer bellowing all the while.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE TRIP TO ITALY")

BRYDON: (As Rob) (Unintelligible).

COOGAN: (As Steve) Don't turn your back on me.

BRYDON: (As Rob) Around the horn we're going.

MONDELLO: I would follow these guys around the horn in a second. Maybe that's where they'll head next time. I'm Bob Mondello. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.