Movie Review - The Trip to Italy

This is the sequel to The Trip (2011), the comedy wherein Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, two British comedic actors, play versions of themselves as in Curb Your Enthusiasm. The premise of their film three years ago is that Steve and Rob go on a road trip where they visit various restaurants, essentially as food critics. This film is practically the same, except the road trip isn't through England. It's through Italy.

They drive in a cute, little convertible. Sometimes, it's down highways, or back roads or even city streets. They go to these various restaurants. They sit. They eat. They talk and they banter. This is repeated over and over, and then over and over again, which would have been fine, if there were some kind of progression.

Every single scene is about Steve and Rob being self-referential and doing endless impressions. It felt like the impressions were only one or two scenes in the first film. In this film, the impressions were in every scene. They were constant, and the repeated impressions of Al Pacino and The Godfather became annoying.

Again, only because there's no progression. It was just riffs that went on too long. In one scene, when the two are doing impressions for other people, it feels like a competition, as if the two are trying to one-up each other. That coupled with the scene where Rob auditions on tape for a role in a Hollywood film could have developed into an interesting rivalry between the two.

The movie comes from the TV series. This movie in actuality is basically an edited down compilation from six episodes that originally aired on the BBC. A lot was obviously eliminated, but it doesn't seem to coalesce into anything, and whatever threads, like Rob's affair and Steve's son, are left dangling in the wind.

There are funny moments. Coogan's impressions of Robert De Niro and Pierce Brosnan are spot on. Brydon's gags about a man in a box and his Michael Bublé bit, where he isn't Bublé, are pretty hilarious. Coogan's reactions to both are the highlights, but that's basically it.

I try to avoid road trip movies because I've seen enough. Yet, a recent one called Red Flag (2012) by Alex Karpovsky is a far better film about two friends in the movie business who hit the road.

Two Stars out of Five.
Not Rated but recommended for mature audiences.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 48 mins.


Popular Posts