September 20, 2017

The Trip to Spain Review

Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan on their third trip.

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon hit the road again, this time on the Iberian Peninsula, to take in the sights, sounds and tastes of Spain. As expected, the duo’s third trip together features spot-on impersonations, delicious meals and musings on middle age. 

As in the previous two Trips, the best bits involve Coogan and Brydon engaging in dueling impersonations. Spain’s strongest mimicry includes Mick Jagger (Coogan’s handclap is amazing), John Hurt, David Bowie, Marlon Brando and Ian McKellan; the high-profile Roger Moore sequence is one of the franchise’s most overbearing. Sure, the joke is that Brydon does not know when to quit, but does Brydon actually not know when to quit? Coogan further exacerbates the belief he is a right arrogant prig; one wonders if his constant callbacks to the Oscar-nominated Philomena are a bit of an inside ribbing amongst pals. The conceit of the star playing himself as a star at, if not his worst, then at least not his best, can be difficult to parse accurately.

In The Trip to Spain, guerrilla filmmaker Michael Winterbottom continues to certify the entertaining accessibility with which he can philosophically moon. However, that shocking final shot—the director even had to defend it at Tribeca—is jarring and brings into question whether or not Coogan and Brydon will get to continue their quixotic quest for food and the perfect impression. Still, these Trips are more consistently funny than most multi-part comic series; go ahead and pack your packs for the hopefully inevitable Trip to Africa.