The Trip to Spain

1hr 47mins | Rated M | Offensive language

Starring: Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon, Marta Barrio

After sampling the cuisines of the Lakes District and the land of La Dolce Vita, Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan are back for a third course of gastronomic delights and competitive celebrity mimicry.
This time their battleground is not the English dales and valleys that inspired Wordsworth and Coleridge, or following in the footsteps of Byron and Shelley in exploring Italy, but rather Cervantes and Laurie Lee's Espana.
For Coogan, it's a chance to write the travel memoir he's been longing to pen. For Brydon, it's simply an opportunity to get out of the house and away from his screaming latest addition. At 50, they feel in the prime of their lives (or as Coogan puts it "I could play Miss Jean Brodie") and ready to explore a new culture.
The plan is to take the ferry from England, then drive around experiencing the coastal cafes and culinary hotspots of Cantabria, Andalusia and Aragon, before meeting Coogan's adult son for the final few days of the sojourn. Naturally things don't go exactly smoothly.
It isn't long before our dynamic duo are getting on each other's nerves, squabbling over the best way to "voice" Mick Jagger and poking at each other's failings – Brydon thinks Coogan has become a Philomena (Coogan's Oscar-nominated film) bore, while the latter believes his Welsh counterpart has somewhat limited aspirations and abilities. Then come the troubles from back home, Coogan's attempts to get a sister project to Philomena off the ground are mired in studio red-tape, while Brydon has been contacted by Coogan's former agent believing that he could make him "the new Ricky Gervais" if only he'd move to Hollywood. Throw in an unexpected curveball from Coogan's son and the trip is rapidly becoming a recipe for disaster.
As with the first two Trips, this tale is essentially a vehicle for showcasing mouth-watering plates of food, gorgeous countryside and the vocal artistry of our two heroes. Yes, for the most part you can pretty much guess what you're going to see – impressions of of De Niro, Brando, Woody Allen and Anthony Hopkins abound – but this third adventure feels more cinematic and slightly less episodic than the previous two.
Plus there's an added poignancy in seeing these two pay extended homage to recently departed legends like David Bowie, Christopher Lee and Roger Moore, and finally seeing Monty Python's famous Spanish Inquisition sketch played out in a never-more-appropriate setting.
Another Trip well worth taking.

The Christchurch Press

 
The Trip to Spain
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