Cinema Review: The Trip To Spain

Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan’s 2010 culinary odyssey around the UK was originally shown over six episodes on BBC TV. Edited for the cinema, it proved so popular that the highly regarded and often provocative filmmaker Michael Winterbottom wrote and directed The Trip to Italy (2014), again starring the same pair of wisecracking mimics playing themselves.

The second instalment was not quite as good as the prototype and this third recycling of the format is not as good as its predecessor – in fact, it’s extremely disappointing. The underpinning theme, brought to the fore in Italy, contrasts the lifestyles of the men, both ‘of a certain age’. Coogan, having made it in America, has two Oscar nominations for his writing and is in demand as an actor.

He is presented as a caustic, rather jaundiced philanderer, vain but anxious about his status. Brydon, more of a television and theatre performer and happily married with two little kids, has found contentment in his domesticity. Winterbottom’s m/o, repeated ad nauseam by this point, has his stars driving through spectacularly scenic countryside and arriving at historic stone towns where they indulge in fabulous meals (Coogan is now teetotal). While dining, the boys allow their conversations to be peopled by recognisable celebrities, whom they impersonate with hilarious accuracy. In one sequence, they both do David Bowie at various stages of his career and, along with the obligatory Sean Connery and Michael Caine, there are Ian McKellen, Roger Moore, Mick Jagger, Brando and others.

Unfortunately, we have seen it all before and this time around the jokes aren’t terribly funny, which makes the routines feel long and drawn out – in fact, Brydon and Coogan are tending to look a little bored with the whole setup. Brydon tells his mate that the flagstones of a cathedral are what he is planning for his kitchen, but there is otherwise a lack of naturalness, while connections made between the Moors of Medieval Spain and ISIS lead to a conclusion that is just a silly contrivance. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Become a supporter of The Echo

A note from the editorial team

Some of The Echo’s editorial team: journalists Paul Bibby and Aslan Shand, editor Hans Lovejoy, photographer Jeff Dawson and Mandy Nolan

The Echo has never underestimated the intelligence and passion of its readers. In a world of corporate banality and predictability, The Echo has worked hard for more than 30 years to help keep Byron and the north coast unique with quality local journalism and creative ideas. We think this area needs more voices, reasoned analysis and ideas than just those provided by News Corp, lifestyle mags, Facebook groups and corporate newsletters.

The Echo is one hundred per cent locally owned and one hundred per cent independent. As you have probably gathered from what is happening in the media industry, it is not cheap to produce a weekly newspaper and a daily online news service of any quality.

We have always relied entirely on advertising to fund our operations, but often loyal readers who value our local, independent journalism have asked how they could help ensure our survival.

Any support you can provide to The Echo will make an enormous difference. You can make a one-off contribution or a monthly one. With your help, we can continue to support a better informed local community and a healthier democracy for another 30 years.”

Echonetdaily is made possible by the support of all of our advertisers.