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The Trip To Italy: Rob and Steve Strike Back

September 8, 2014

The Trip To Italy movie poster

The Trip was a wonderful surprise.  It topped my list of favorite 2011 films and is a mainstay on my Netflix queue. Watching Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan bicker for 90 minutes while traveling though Northern England never gets old. Their impersonations and understanding of each other make for a dynamic duo who have been perfecting their shtick since Tristram Shandy.  The two are so immensely likable that you could spend hours listening to their Michael Caine impersonations. Now, they are back for an Italian adventure full of Alanis Morissette, mini coopers and more Michael Caine impersonations.

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The fictional versions of themselves have changed since the first film. Coogan has become more likable and wants to spend more time with his family. Brydon has become more brazen as he cheats on his wife and takes an eight week acting gig in the United States. The one thing that hasn’t changed is that the two have an understanding of each other that allows them to support each other through thick and thin.

The Trip To Italy Rob and Steve

Whether it be riffing on Rob in prison or discussing his lack of similarities with Byron the two are never at a loss for words. They ease into the roles and you can tell they enjoy playing exaggerated versions of themselves. I love watching their personalities interact because it develops a constant stream of one-up-man ship and ramblings. Their zingers occasionally get personal but that is all part of their dueling personas.

The Trip to Italy ocean

This is the third collaboration between Brydon, Coogan and director Michael Winterbottom. They’ve achieved something wonderful with the sequel. They acknowledge the sequel aspect and wisely don’t become too self aware. They could have simply given everyone what they wanted (impersonation battles) and laughed their way to the bank. However, the story has a flowing narrative that allows for character development amid beautiful vistas.

Most importantly, the impersonations don’t feel shoehorned in. They come from an organic place as Brydon feels more comfortable emoting in accents and Steve gets annoyed at the impersonations.The best moments occur when the two team up and have fun roasting cinema. They engage in witty banter that focuses on the Dark Knight Rises 1st AD telling Tom Hardy and Christian Bale that their accents cannot be understood. Or, they make their way through all the James Bond actors with the revelation that Coogan cried at the end of Mama Mia. 

The Trip to Italy

The Trip to Italy is a masterclass of character and humor. I cannot wait to rewatch it and marvel at the scenery and perfectly nasal Michael Caine impersonations. I really love the Before Sunrise trilogy and I hope these two get a final chapter because I really want to see Coogan brag about his Oscar nomination and Alan Partridge success.

 

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 8, 2014 7:12 pm

    Better than the first, not because it’s funnier (which it is), but because it really focuses on these two guys, who are they are as entertainers, friends, family-men, and just people in general. More so than they did with the first movie and in a more honest way, too. Good review.

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