The Trip to Greece

Since 2010, comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon have ventured to various places in search of food and good humour. Initially indulging in the culinary delights of the United Kingdom, subsequent films saw them travel to Spain and Italy. The format has been the same – they play fictionalised versions of themselves as they eat and explore their way around the continent. Most films see them dining and indulging in comedic one-upmanship with impersonations and tall stories. Mixed within this formula are personal issues affecting both, helping to push the loose story along.

Directed by Michael Winterbottom, ‘The Trip to Greece’ is the fourth and supposedly final instalment. As the title suggests, the duo find themselves among the Greek ruins as they embark on a 6 day assignment to cover the 10 year journey of Odysseus from Homer’s ‘The Odyssey’. Given the film also marks 10 years since their first outing, it feels appropriate to conclude things here. They travel to several locations including Hydra, Athens and Delphi with a bit of history thrown in amidst the banter.

The ’Trip’ films may be an acquired taste as Coogan’s and Brydon’s style of comedy can often be dry. They usually try to outdo the other with their humour with usually hilarious results. Both are wordsmiths who enjoy each other’s company despite the antagonistic nature of some of their verbal sparring. ‘The Trip to Greece’ finds them less able to put up with each other’s foibles as their comedic jousting has more of an edge. This provides mixed results with this fourth go-around feeling somewhat tired. They have the good grace to acknowledge the fallacy of endless sequels with the law of diminishing returns proving true here.

The nonstop restaurant visits of previous films is also lacking. Whilst delicious looking food appears, it’s less frequent as Winterbottom seems content to just film his performers travelling and larking around. What’s offered is amusing enough, although there’s certainly something missing. Lethargy instead of enthusiasm appears to be the main culprit with the fictional problems the men face feeling contrived. Their egocentric personas are in full display as usual although you never truly feel you know them that well despite this being the fourth cinematic teaming.

Whilst ‘The Trip to Greece’ is the least of the series, the Greek locales are always dazzling. Winterbottom and his leads are wise to conclude proceedings here as the ingenuity and energy seems to have run out. It’s been an unusual but an overall interesting film series that at least makes one want to go to these places and indulge in fine dining in grand settings.

Rating out of 10: 6


No Comments

RSS feed for comments on this post. | TrackBack URI
You can also bookmark this on del.icio.us or check the cosmos