Movie Review: ‘The Trip to Spain’
Director: Michal Winterbottom
Cast: Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon
Plot: Steve and Rob continue their restaurant tours, this time visiting Spain to enjoy gourmet food, share banter and swap witticisms.
Review: This is an odd film to review because…well, it’s not a film. The whole thing started with the 2005 Michael Winterbottom film A Cock and Bull Story, in which Coogan and Brydon play Steve and Rob, two ego-driven actors who are based on exaggerated versions of themselves. These characters are continued in the 2010 television series, also by Winterbottom, called The Trip. The success of the show led to an edited down theatrical version released into cinemas. The second season of the show became The Trip to Italy in cinemas and we now have the third, The Trip to Spain.
This roundabout way of creating the movie brings with it strengths and weaknesses. The pacing is sketchy and while the relaxed, meandering pace suits the tone well we do end with a long, drawn out final act with very little happening.
Our two leads are both affable and entertaining. Not every performer can keep the audience laughing with lunchtime conversation. Their impressions of famous figures is the highlight of the movie, as is their arguments about the best way to capture a character. They both have impeccable comedic timing and their subtle conflicts are well executed. For the right audiences there’s plenty to laugh at, although if one-liners about Miguel de Cervantes isn’t going to tickle your ribs then this isn’t your cup of tea.
The film is also a treat to look at. Winterbottom draws on his experience to populate the film with misty landscapes stunning aerial shots. Gourmets will enjoy the food porn just as much, but for this vegetarian the dishes of seafood don’t quite stir up an appetite.
This is a relaxed and enjoyable outing with some fun characters. If you’ve enjoyed the previous trips then this continues the series in strong fashion.
Rating: SEVEN out of TEN