Funnymen Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are back with a sequel to their largely improvised movie "The Trip," called "The Trip To Italy." NY1's Neil Rosen filed the following review.
In 2010, British funnymen Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon checked in with a movie called "The Trip." Now comes the sequel, and it's called "The Trip To Italy."
Just like in the first movie, Coogan and Brydon are reviewing some top restaurants, except this time, the locale had changed from Northern England to the Amalfi coast.
Touring around in a mini-Cooper, the premise is just a basic set up for these two skilled comedians to riff on all different types of subjects, trying to one-up each other and crack each other up along the way.
In the first film, Coogan was a womanizer, while Brydon was more of a stable family guy. Now, their roles have sort of switched. Coogan has mellowed considerably and bemoans middle age, while Brydon's marriage has become rocky and he's considering having an extramarital affair. These two also dispense some notable quotes from Byron and Shelly along the way.
But the plot points are secondary to the humorous conversations that these two have in restaurants and on the road. The dueling Michael Caine imitations, a highlight of the first movie, are back. This time, it's their take on the last Batman movie with Tom Hardy, Christian Bale and Caine as the targets.
There are lots of other imitations here, too, some better than others, but more often than not the humor hits the mark.
Even though the first movie was fresher and funnier, what makes the sequel work is the undeniable chemistry between these two men. The largely improvised dialogue is witty and sometimes laugh out loud funny and some of their keen observations on minutia is priceless.
Directed, once again, by Michael Winterbottom, the Italian scenery, from Campagana to Capri is sumptuous and the food looks so delicious that I often wanted to leap into the screen and take a bite.
Overall, it's very smart and entertaining, and if Coogan, Brydon and Winterbottom want to do a third film, I'd be more than happy to take another ride with them.
Neil Rosen's Big Apple rating: Three apples