I guess these “trip” movies, where Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon travel the world, eat food and improvise, are sort of the modern day version of the Bing Crosby/Bob Hope road movies.
Too bad they aren’t nearly as much fun.
Coogan and Brydon certainly have their moments in this third trip, and some of their impersonations are truly winning. But the whole shtick gets tired fast. Directed by Michael Winterbottom, the film is almost entirely improvised, with slight plot threads weaved in to give it some sort of cohesive vibe. In the end, it’s just too much time watching these guys try to make each other laugh. Hey, they succeed sometimes, and when they laugh, we might laugh, but most of the humor is third rate. Coogan does have a dream about his being confused at the Oscars, and that’s the biggest laugh. By the time Brydon rolled out his Hugh Grant impersonation, I had had enough.
Winterbottom has made some good films in the past, including The Killer Inside Me and 24 Hour Party People. Hopefully, this will be his last trip movie, and he’ll rock something with a little more narrative and spine the next time out. As for Coogan, it’s time for another Alan Partridge movie. Actually, his upcoming Stan and Ollie, with John C. Reilly, looks damned interesting.