The Trip To Italy: Movie Review
Cast: Rob Brydon, Steve Coogan
Director: Michael Winterbottom
The Trip was such a phenomenal success that it was inevitable there would be a second serving of Coogan and Brydon's improvisational schtick.
Whereas the first was set in the relatively glum surroundings of the North of England, this latest sees the pair transplanted to Italy after Rob is asked to do a series of reviews of restaurants - in comparison to Coogan being the the writer of the first outing.
So once again, the duo with all their foibles and insecurities are heading out, trying to one up each other amid whimsy and reflection.
The Trip was a great film, a culinary travelogue that got to the heart of what made Coogan and Brydon tick, in amongst improvisational segments that felt natural and part of the banter of this duo.
Unfortunately, while The Trip to Italy is still a good film, it loses some of that freshness this time around with the impersonations and general misbehaviour feeling forced and a little shoehorned in in places. When the duo start their Michael Caine impressions, there's a feeling of deja vu that can't be shaken this time around.
Alanis Morrisette is the background music to this outing, and forms the backbone of a series of running gags but there's no escaping the fact this feels like a recycling of what's gone before. Maybe this time around, with Coogan seeming more melancholy after the show he was on in America is placed on hiatus and with Brydon's star in the ascent, there's a manoeuvring of Rob losing his way while Steve finds his heart again.
The scenery stands out and the splendrous nature of their jaunts are lost upon them, giving you the feeling they're a pair of spoilt brats in many ways. But the whole feeling overall of The Trip To Italy is a trip too far; with the ending hinting that a third outing could be on the way as the duo appear to be at a crossroads, you'd have to hope all concerned stand back and re-evaluate what made the first time around such a clever touch; because this trip is in danger of losing its passage to its final destination.