The Trip revolves around Steve Coogan (as himself) who is asked by a magazine to do a restaurant tour around the country and help develop a story around the experience. Coogan plans to bring his girlfriend right about the time she decides it’s time for them to take a “break” so he enlists the help of his friend Rob. Unfortunately for Steve, Rob tends to drive Steve nuts after awhile which of course sets the duo up for an interesting road trip…
Much of the film is based around the ongoing conversation that the 2 companions have while they’re traveling along the route of their journey. The humor is very dry and witty so if you’re looking for slapstick silliness or crude dick jokes, you’ll be disappointed. Given the nature of the humor, there were times I laughed out loud and other moments where I was bored out of my mind. The story seems to be told somewhat in an improv-style of delivery while still containing scripted plot-points. Overall I found the story interesting but at times very self indulgent as well. Rob’s friend Steve is also a well-known talent and is known for his impressions. Some of the impression riffing the actors do is a blast, especially their dialog acting like Michael Caine, Billy Connelly and Sean Connery. The problem is, the gag wears thin after awhile and starts to get annoying instead of entertaining.
That’s my primary complaint about the film – there are numerous elements that are kind of beaten into the ground through repetition which makes them lose their charm from when they’re first introduced. Coogan’s womanizing being one of those elements along with the actors constantly riffing.
One of the more enjoyable aspects of the movie is the scenery. They have a lot of great exterior shots of the landscapes and the towns they travel through along with footage of the amazing food they’re evaluating for their story. Anthony Bourdain would’ve fit right in here given the cuisine and choice of restaurants they visited.
The film ends very abruptly and in a strange way for Coogan as he’s struggling with his love life and family life. I have to admit, I thought the ending was a little sudden and not entirely satisfying. It just felt like something was missing and that they’re needed to be more resolution. Maybe that’s the point though…
If you dig British humor and enjoy good scenery, check out The Trip on Netflix.
reviewed by Sean McKnight