Building upon the rapport they previously shared in one of Michael Winterbottom’s past films, A Cock and Bull Story, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon reteam once again in the directors’ latest comedy, a decidedly light-hearted U-turn after his adaptation of The Killer Inside Me earlier this year.
Effectively a six-part television series meshed into one 90 minute feature, The Trip features the stars playing fictionalised versions of themselves, with Coogan embodying a food critic scouring the Lake District for fine cuisine and even finer sexual conquests. Replacing Coogans’ absent girlfriend, Brydon tags along on this tour of several top UK restaurants, demonstrating the duos unique friendship as they make their way through meticulously made, diverse delicacies. The largely improvised events that ensue are proof of the two stars unquestionable chemistry and their ability to adapt their comedic talents to any setting or scenario.
The film features beautiful shots of the British countryside coupled with some hilarious verbal sparring between the two, who swap copious amounts of the uncanny impressions of which they have become known for. These range from Michael Caine to Sean Connery, with Dustin Hoffman and Woody Allen being particularly funny highlights. Though the pace does slacken slightly during the third act, it was reassuring to know that there was a fresh joke mere minutes away.
As much a hilarious road trip as an engaging character study, Winterbottom’s latest is a tremendously enjoyable British film as well as a taster for the eagerly awaited TV show, which will be begin later this year and deserves to be a big hit.
- A Cock and Bull Story, 2005. [Film] Directed by Michael Winterbottom, UK: BBC Films.
- The Killer Inside Me, 2010. [Film] Directed by Michael Winterbottom, USA: Muse Productions.
- The Trip, 2010. [Film] Directed by Michael Winterbottom, UK: Revolution Films.