The Trip (2010) Poster

(I) (2010)

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Intelligent males on screen without Explosions or Gas!
josephlord-119 November 2011
You can read the story synopsis elsewhere on these pages. My review is all about how thoroughly enjoyable it was to see two intelligent men on screen. It's something rare in American male testosterone driven films which are aimed at the teeny bopper male group. This film ran a gamut of references fro Coleridge to ABBA and never missed a beat.

I really just want to salute the movie as a triumph that says you don't need bombs, explosions or farts to make a film enjoyable. The conversations ran so smoothly. One would have thought them natural as in a cinema verite...........I knew nothing of the stars nor their UK experience and CV.............I just enjoyed listening to them without any prior historical context...........it also made me want to visit northern England to enjoy the food, scenes and outdoors. Worth a watch on a nice quiet peaceful American night. Maybe it will rub off on us.
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9/10
Watch the TV Series Instead
pontoffelpock2 June 2011
The Trip, the television program, is a poignant, rambling, beautiful little series, starring comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon as fictionalized versions of themselves.

The Trip, the film, which I was able to catch at a packed SIFF screening, is an edited version of the television show. The six episode series clocks in at about 180 minutes, and the film, at 107 minutes, feels truncated and rushed comparatively. Both follow these hilarious gents as they review restaurants in the English countryside, but with those seventy-so minutes edited out, much of the nuance and poignancy is lost—the tone shifts from somber (but funny), to seemingly desperate for laughs. The film does often get those laughs (Coogan and Brydon, in their largely improvised conversations, are very humorous), but it fails to really make much impact beyond providing entertainment. The more melancholy scenes retained from the television series often feel tacked-on, and the transition between jokes and sentiment clunky, with quiet moments and breathing time largely cut out.

Audiences looking for droll popcorn fare will not be disappointed, but those wanting to be genuinely moved should skip the flick and instead seek out the superlative television series, using whatever means they can.
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9/10
All I can say is HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
rooprect26 July 2012
If you have 2 minutes to waste reading this review, I suggest instead you go to Youtube, search "the trip michael caine" and watch it. If it makes you laugh, expect more of the same in this movie. If it doesn't do anything for you, then don't bother watching the film. Although I can't imagine any human with a pulse not being tickled by that great scene.

"The Trip" has no real story. As explained in the first 10 seconds of the film, it's simply about Steve Coogan (played by Steve Coogan) who reluctantly invites his quasi-friend Rob Brydon (played by Rob Brydon) in on an assignment reviewing restaurants in northern UK.

What follows is 172 minutes of bizarre, awkward and painful humour which, like in the "Michael Caine" clip, centers around the 2 quirky characters and their polite antagonism of each other. If you haven't already seen the Coogan-Brydon schtick (as in "Tristram Shandy: A Cock & Bull Story") I can only describe it as classic. It's almost a throwback to Laurel & Hardy or Abbot & Costello but with intelligence rather than slapstick. Coogan plays the somewhat superior egotist while Brydon plays the clown (who always gets the better of his counterpart).

"The Trip" was originally a 6-part series that aired on BBC in 2010, strung into a feature film released in 2011. The whole show was largely improvised, and in the excellent bonus features on the film DVD we can see the evolution of their routines as well as some other gags that didn't make it to the final version (such as the hilariously surreal "C-NT SONG" and accompanying dance choreography).

The pacing of the film is somewhat slow, but that works to its advantage. It makes the whole experience flow realistically, not contrived. The gags are like islands of hilarity in a sea of Coogan's otherwise dreary life. Also note, even though I said there's no story, there actually is if you read between the lines. Ironically, it's a rather heavy story touching on the themes of loneliness, dissatisfaction and Shakespearean "sound and fury signifying nothing". I was extremely impressed that director Michael Winterbottom could make such a funny film within such a bleak premise.

Watch it closely and you'll be both entertained and affected. Films I'd compare this to are "Tristram Shandy" (another excellent Coogan-Brydon-Winterbottom collaboration), "Coffee and Cigarettes" (also featuring Coogan in a stylish, artistic comedy by Jim Jarmusch) and some of the Christopher Guest films, such as "A Mighty Wind" and "Best in Show".
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7/10
Laugh-out-loud travelogue wit(h) plenty of food porn
twilliams7628 September 2011
The Trip is a trip. It is a hilarious talkie-talk film made for an intelligently critical, foodie-obsessed, British humor-junkie like me!

I admit/know that many WILL hate watching this film about two British comedians (Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon playing "loose" versions of themselves by reprising their "characters" from the earlier film Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story) driving around the North Country (of England) eating in pubs and fine-dining restaurants while making fun of wine, food and culture snobs with little witticisms, bon mots and uncanny impersonations of some of Britian's top exports. There is also a lot of film and pop culture references to go along with the literary history thrown-about as the pair trek the highlands of some of Britian's late-greats (poets, writers, historians) and explore castles, manors and northern Moors.

The "story" is that Coogan has been tasked by The Observer (a British magazine) to travel the northern portions of England and write a food/wine/travel piece about his experience. As Steve's girlfriend backed-out of the trip at the last moment to fly to the states and his other go-to friends have all declined his invite, Steve reluctantly asks his old friend Rob to accompany him. Too bad for Steve; but "hahaha" for us!

The film is NOTHING more than these two getting on the other's nerves; making fun of snooty things (themselves included); eating in fine-dining establishments (glorious food prep/food porn here!); and making people laugh. If you aren't a British humor enthusiasts, avoid this one! It isn't slapstick/Benny Hill bawdy comedy here ... it is all understated, subtle humor in the delivery of lines of what these two men observe.

I found this to be somewhat of a treat to listen to (these are two highly gifted comedians) ... the beautiful Lake District and countryside of Britain was just an added bonus to it.
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5/10
A Thin Sitcom turned into a Semi Funny Movie.
michaelhirakida2 October 2014
Warning: Spoilers
The Trip is Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon's vacation sitcom that is basically the two comedians going to different restaurants in the North of Britain. Now, it could be funny if they didn't have such thin material. So why in the world did they decide to cut it down into a 114 minute movie?

The problems is it follows a structure that you can point out very easily. Here is what happens in every lets say 25 minutes:

1. They Drive and Talk. 2. They get a room at a hotel. 3. They eat as it inner cuts 4. While they are eating, they make impressions of famous stars. 5. As Dramatic Music plays, they talk on the phone with people.

Follow that same structure at least 6 times and you got a very thin movie. Oh and if your lucky:

6. Steve Coogan has a Bad Dream.

The impressions are spot on and funny at first, but then it just becomes hideously boring and you wish they would do something other than impressions.

The food looks gorgeous and it is interesting to hear what Coogan and Brydon have to say about it as they eat pigeon, duck, lamb, scallops, soup and more rich stuff.

The problem I have is that its the same thing over and over again. The structure is very basic and does not take any risks whatsoever. What if something bad happened on the road trip? What if their car broke down? What if they had a fight? Sure they argue, but it doesn't lead to anything serious. Come on! I'm dying to see something different, but all I'm getting is the same stuff over and over again!

If you watched the Trailers it looks like it was going to be a hilarious movie full of comedy and food. But it lies to us. It actually is quite depressing because of the music at the end of a restaurant scene. There is rarely any music and it should have been that way throughout. I don't like this sad music. Where is the upbeat and happy music? But I guess it fits because the whole movie is Grey.

Look at the poster! Does it look like a boring drama film? No! It looks exactly like a comedy but it doesn't do anything to be different!

Maybe if I watched the uncut series, I would have liked it better, but I am reviewing a film. Not a comedy series.

If you like food, skip this because the scenes in the restaurants are rushed. If you love comedy. Skip it because it takes no risks. If you really want fun. Don't watch it at all. It really is depressing and the ending is not funny. This movie fails at comedy. Now could you believe there is a sequel!?... I'll get to that sometime.

54/100 C
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8/10
The Trip's self-depreciative tone is perfect
Likes_Ninjas909 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This is a fictional story but actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are playing themselves on a road trip across the North of England. Steve is struggling for work in film and his girlfriend Mischa (Margo Stilley) has separated from him to return to America. He was expecting her to help him on an assignment he's been given: to complete six different restaurant reviews. With his girlfriend pulling out Steve's last resort is Rob. They're not really friends or colleagues but they've known each other for a long time. Rob prides himself on his impersonations of other people. But with Steve wanting to be taken seriously in mainstream movies, this drives him insane, sparking a rivalry between the two men as they constantly work to correct each other.

The Trip initially seems like its much ado about nothing. It's essentially a road movie, full of rich food and wine and two self- important funny men. Comparisons to Alexander Payne's Sideways (2004) are genuine but this picture is largely improvised by the actors. However, an outline must have been provided by director Michael Winterbottom because beneath the silliness of the comedy a deliberately dark subtext is visible. The humour is intelligent, not because of what is said, but in how it reveals character. Both Steve and Rob are flawed in different ways. We understand why Steve's relationship has fallen apart. He's continuously jealous because he can't stand Mischa being around other men. He automatically assumes that she's involved with them. Yet he also takes the time to sleep with two women himself. Rob is a family man but seems to have the compulsive need to impress people by using the same jokes and impersonations over and over again. The duo shares hilarious chemistry together because their personas complement each other so well. Steve is too much like his egotistical self and Rob is always trying to be other people when he doesn't have to be.

Comedy is at its funniest when actors find some variation on how to play their roles straight. The Trip's self-depreciative tone is perfect. Neither man has any idea about reviewing the meals. It's really just a device to give the movie a framework. But their incompetence is hysterically funny because they try to sound smarter and cleverer than they actually are, especially when outdoing each other's impersonations. Rob impersonates everyone from Michael Caine, Woody Allen, Sean Connery, Hugh Grant and even Christoph Waltz. These are enjoyable because they're recognisable and silly. But there's an old fashioned method about Winterbottom's direction that I like too. A lot of the restaurant scenes are held for a very long time, which means that the decision to improvise is a smart one. It allows both actors to play out their mimetic roles with as much time and space as they need. They can milk the gags for as long as they can, which also makes them funnier. As a drama the film is a little more weightless than Sideways, mostly because the side characters are underdeveloped. Steve can only interact with his girlfriend over the phone so there are fewer opportunities to really care about her as a character. And spreading the trip over six days instead of four or five means that the film losses some energy through its repetition. At just under two hours it could have been shorter. Nonetheless, the film is still frequently hilarious and certifies that Winterbottom is as diverse as any other working director today.
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8/10
Hard to believe they're acting
barnabybeech9 July 2011
The first thing I noticed about this pair up was that the two were made for each other. Their dialogues are so easy, so effortless follow there was no awareness of the intrusion of false, unnecessary dialogue. This is for the movie version. I had a hard time buying the notion that this was a piece of fiction when it most likely was, but that's how smooth the personal and theatrical mixed in. The other lovely part is how the theatrical structure for the piece, the necessary obstructions, personal dilemmas, blended in so seamlessly. These people weren't acting. Oh yes they were! The story, low key as it is, is set against the bleak north country with snow on the ground and complemented by the considerable sophistication of the restaurants. It takes a genuine student of human character to illuminate human behavior in a way this comprehending of the slight struggles for control, as well as the peculiar side effects of self indulgence. It looks simple and easy. To make it this recognizable and entertaining is not. Or maybe it is if you're in their profession in a non Hollywood sort of way.
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7/10
No Excess, Just Class
tappingjeff22 October 2011
What a winning combination can be found in Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in Michael Winterbottom's comedy The Trip. Utilizing every inch of British humor that they can, Coogan and Brydon take the witty script even further, making real characters out of themselves and playing it straight, whether it's hilarious or a little heartbreaking. Set up as a mockumentary, Steve Coogan (playing himself) is asked to make a country-wide tour of England and explore the best restaurants in the country. Unable to take his girlfriend, he ends up taking his actor best friend Rob Brydon (also playing himself), and the two must endure the trip together, which becomes quite a challenge for Steve and Rob. They make quite the pair from there, often feeding into one another's humor brilliantly and in only a classy way, as they try to pass the time. They deal with their (sometimes dismal) outside life, which helps the film get some weight, but mainly focuses on the silly things they do when they are on the trip, which is usually impersonating people they admire or dreaming about roles and films they wish they would and I suppose could make. Even when their humor starts to repeat itself, it is surprisingly still intriguing. This is probably because it is such a refreshing contrast from the loud and obnoxious comedies we have been accustomed to in the Hollywood market. This film is quieter, but it's so damn funny. It finds its humor from not playing dumb to the audience, and higher minded viewers will appreciate that while simpler minded viewers might even find the film dull or droning. What I found is a hilarious, classy, British comedy that never tries too hard, and in doing so, it succeeds where other comedies only wish they could. A-
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A Thought Provoking Lighthearted British Comedy
RayWetCanvas20 October 2011
I thoroughly enjoyed The Trip. Not only did the movie capture British humor perfectly but the scenery of Northern England's Lake District and the Pennine mountains made me want to go there. This movie did borrow somewhat from Sideways but in a less substantial way. This was a lighthearted, humorous road movie in the British tradition which also required you to think! The literary references throughout the movie such as the poet Coleridge and others was thought provoking and humorous at the same time.

If you are a fan of American comedy that is unfortunately coming out of Hollywood at the moment, such as The Hangover, Horrible Bosses etc, this will not be your cup of tea. I wonder after seeing this, how would it have been if Monty Python ever created a road movie of this sort?
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9/10
Excellent, intelligent comedy
DocMagoo3 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
OK, so I am not going to describe the movie as this has been done in the other reviews....except to say the James Bond scene and the 'we will rise at dawn' scene are genius. I am a Brit who has lived in NYC for the past 5+ years and so I missed the TV series, however, I am very familiar with the work from both guys especially through the 90s and early 2000s. There are a fair few references to each others famous parts which were totally lost on the audience in NY (e.g. anything Alan Partridge related) but the rest of the film went down very well. I feel if you 'get' British comedy you will love this movie. If you prefer the more in your face Hangover type stuff (also very good) then you may be disappointed. If you have problems understanding the Northern English or Welsh accent you may also have problems and should probably wait for the DVD with subtitles.....neither is very strong but definitely not your typical English accent observed in most movies that contains one.

Very good movie with excellent cinematography.
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6/10
Deeper than the preview lets on
chaz-2821 June 2011
The Trip is one of the odder on the road, buddy movies. Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, playing themselves, take off on a road trip to northern England's finer restaurants. Coogan is assigned to sample their dishes and author a review on them for the Observer. He invites Brydon along for the ride after his girlfriend and several other friends decline the invitation first.

90% of the film is just back and forth banter between the two British comedians, mostly impressions. They compare their Michael Caine impressions and they are amazingly spot on. They also try out Anthony Hopkins, Ian McKellan, Roger Moore, and a host of others. Intercut between these impressions and other comedic diatribes is a deeper and more personal story. Brydon has a wife and newborn waiting for him back in London but Coogan is in a rough patch with his younger American girlfriend and proceeds through a few one night stands during the trip. There are scenes showing his insecurity with her and a few which show the two friends comparing careers and who is more successful. Coogan is more internationally known but Brydon gets recognized more on the street in northern England.

The last film starring these two was Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story which was about how utterly hard it would be to film the novel Tristram Shandy. That film was comedic genius and still makes me laugh to think about it. The Trip does not rise to that Tristram Shandy's level, but there are plenty of moments to enjoy here, especially if you are at all familiar with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. If you have never heard of these guys before, you will not get too much out of The Trip except for some laughs at their impressions and a spectacular scene in their Range Rover about improving the line "We rise at dawn."
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5/10
The Trip Review
Dfschohr-532-54965824 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are back once again playing a fictionalized version of themselves in "The Trip". In one of their previous films, "Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story" which I have not seen yet, but have heard great things, Coogan and Brydon play the same characters. Unfortunately, "The Trip" is not that great of film.

The film plays on one note, and never progressively gets better. The whole film is Coogan and Brydon either driving, or eating a meal, and in which they bicker at each other and do famous celebrity impersonations. The plot is that Steve is hired by a newspaper to write about his journey to different restaurants in northern England. The film just never goes anywhere. It becomes very bland, and it feels as if the same thing is happening over and over again.

The film is directed by Michael Winterbottom who also made "Tristram Shandy", and his directing style felt to stiff. But I am curious to see the first film. I give "The Trip" a 5 out of 10.
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8/10
Coogan and Brydon entertain us and themselves
valleyjohn23 November 2011
The Trip is a delightful little road movie unlike any other film you are likely to have seen before.

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon travel the English countryside trying the best hotels and cuisine on offer and on they way they not only try to out do themselves on the impersonation stakes they also try to keep their friendship going when quite obviously they see themselves as rivals.

Most of this film is improvised and it's so much better for it although there is an underlying story in the film about Steve Coogan's relationship with his girlfriend but it's more a distraction than a help to the movie. Without doubt , the conversations the two men have ( mostly in other famous peoples voices ) are the highlights of the film.

Brydon comes out of the film as the most likable , if not a little irritating , and Coogan seems a little irritable at times . It's never clear whether they are trying to be themselves or they are meaning to come across this way.

The Trip is a very British film that i doubt would appeal to a foreign market but i liked it a lot.
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6/10
The Trip (film)
MartinTeller4 January 2012
(REVIEW FOR SERIES) What we've really got is two series. One is the comedy of "Steve Coogan" and "Rob Brydon" exchanging barbs and doing impressions and making witty observations. These parts generally occur over the six meals they share, and I really enjoyed them. Some of their banter is hilarious... I had already seen the Michael Caine routine several times on YouTube and yet I still laughed at it. The other film involves the contrast between these people/characters: Steve, trying to bolster his acting career and struggling with a relationship that's starting to crack, and Rob the less successful but content family man. And I really enjoyed this part as well. Rob's calls home to his wife are amusing but also quite touching. Steve's existential midlife crisis is engaging and insightful as well. The two halves of the film do bleed into each other a bit, but I genuinely appreciated the separation between them. Winterbottom knows that it's okay to just let these two guys play off each other with their natural comedic chemistry and not worry about whether or not it's pushing the "plot" forward. The photography is mostly functional, concentrating on the personalities, but quite lovely when capturing all that gorgeous English countryside. While the film isn't as post-modern as the previous collaborations (24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE and TRISTRAM SHANDY, both of which seem to get minor callbacks in the first episode, though it may be merely coincidence) it still maintains an unconventionality.

8/10

(REVIEW FOR FILM) I'm very glad I watched the series before the movie. The film does contain the highlights from the show, most of the big belly laughs are intact... the "to bed" sequence is still a riot. But although I can't point to too many specific instances of scenes that I miss, the whole thing doesn't hang together well enough. You can tell there's stuff missing, it feels so fragmented and slapdash. I'm not even sure I want to keep the DVD. There's a generous deleted scenes section (running nearly as long as the film itself), but it doesn't even include everything from the series (about an hour of it is different takes of the "to bed" scene). If I was to watch it again I'd rather see in its original form. It just flows so much better. Like the fine wines Steve & Rob imbibe, the moments need to breathe.

6/10
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1/10
A waste of time
EuSceptic3 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This is the most boring movie I've seen in years, I recommend you to watch it if you want to take a nap, otherwise doesn't worth your time.

Two almost old guys travel, they eat here and there, one of the guys tortures us with bad vocal impersonations of some actors I've never heard the hole movie, the other guy tries to find reception to call his "girlfriend" in the States, that's the movie.

From the trailer you think this movie has the potential for a real comedy but it deserves more "Documentary" Boring BADGE.

STAY AWAY FROM IT!

You won't even smile once.
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1/10
Boring Road Movie
mailes2221 June 2014
We were planning to go and see the latest Trip to Italy movie and decided to rent The Trip to get a taste for the humour. What a totally boring piece of self-indulgence. Rob Bryden might be well known for his impressions, but with multiple impersonations of Michael Caine, Sean Connery as James Bond and Woody Allen leaves you feeling like he has a repertoire of 3. The rest of the movie was mildly interesting in terms of the food preparation in the kitchens and nice scenery, but it was obviously populated with actors while pretending to be a real life foodie road trip. Needless to say, we're not bothering to go and see the Trip to Italy.
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1/10
Boring, as to see paint drying
flrashtc22 April 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Two middle aged men babbling away for around 2 hours.

I have never been so bored in my life.

The scenes are drawn out to the edge of utter boredom.

I feel, I know all the English countryside first hand, because half the movie was a car moving through the landscape.

This film is not just a waste of time, it is so boring so you feel you HAVE to find out if there is any redemption in the end..

No..

The movie fades out with a thrill which can be compared to see paint drying
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9/10
A Good Tip is To Take The Trip... with this one!
upandonw4430 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Pithy, clever and highly enjoyable, in that snarky British humor kind of way, "The Trip" was a joy to watch at the USA Film Festival in Dallas. Especially if you like gourmet food (and have a fetish for scallops) iconic film quotes done within well executed impressions of Michael Caine and Al Pacino, to name a few. Along with a few moments of genuine pathos and self-discovery for the characters (playing themselves), film industry insiders will especially relate to the insanity while others may find an unexpected surprise in the beauty of the English countryside locations. Collectively this makes for a very enjoyable trip for us all. Loved it!
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1/10
As Interesting as a Dinner Party
slarabee-36-27847123 December 2011
The story line on the IMDb page for this film sums up the plot pretty well. Nothing much more there.

Watching this movie was much like suffering through an incredibly boring dinner party, where incredibly boring guests bore you with incredibly boring stories about their incredibly boring and self involved lives.

I am normally not so harsh in my opinions of another's art but this was just awful and I want my time back. I cannot believe anyone spent the money to produce such drivel.

Worst of all is that if you suffer through it waiting for it to reach a point or apex you will be waiting just as long as I did and will more than likely want your time back but alas there is no turning back the clock.

Save yourself the empty feeling and skip this one.
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10/10
unconventional hilarity
whodat958722 September 2013
HILARIOUS. COME, COME MR. BOND, YOU KNOW YOU DERIVE AS MUCH PLEASURE FROM KILLING AS I DO. I do not understand why people do not find this movie to be as funny as I do. The scenes where they are doing impersonations and drinking wine made me laugh until I cried. Must have a more developed and higher-quality sense of humor to appreciate the comedy in this movie. The best scene is when they are doing their James Bond impersonations at the table. I reinact and quote that scene quite frequently even though no one ever knows what I'm doing. I do it anyway because I myself find it to be very amusing and I love making myself laugh.
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Indie Hype Alert
TurquoiseSky17 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I got taken in the the reviews that said this movie was "hilarious." It just isn't. It's dull. It almost takes off when the characters do battling impressions but don't let that fool you, it doesn't quite catch fire. The rest of the time we have a couple of dull, middle-aged British men wandering around a gray countryside. Even the cinematography is faded and bleached.

In spite of what anyone says, this is just another depressed, self-indulgent British movie. Government support is good for education and public welfare but it seems to harm movies. I've seen more bad government supported movies than I would care to remember. Momentum? Pacing? Those must be against some kind of regulation. I only saw the first part of this movie. Right after the main character cheated on his fiancé, I was through.

You can get your money back in most theaters if you leave soon enough. Thankfully, I made it out in time.
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8/10
An intelligent road/buddy movie that works!
dougmcnair26 June 2011
This movie was a lot of fun, and the only intelligent and even moving road/buddy movie I've ever seen. It's a long but very funny meditation on the different ways in which men deal with the midlife realization that their glory days are behind them. It's also a great take on the "odd couple" concept. Two old friends go on a working vacation together, with the result that all the competitiveness that's inherent in most male friendships comes to the fore. They're always trying to outdo each other at silly things, and whenever one of them wins at something the other accuses him of just using the competition to avoid dealing with something else. But the competition is actually therapy for both of them, because the fact that they can still be so skillful and alternatively successful in their one-upmanship (and have so much fun together in the process) helps them deal with the fact that the loss of their youth is limiting their other opportunities in life. In the end, as they both sing "The Winner Takes it All," we realize that it's the best vacation either one of them could have had because they both find out what's really important to them at this time in their lives. Eight stars for middle-aged guys, maybe six stars for others (you have to have been there to really get it).
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3/10
Mile After Mile After Mile After . . .
Cinnyaste24 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
"The Trip" is a variant of the 'Buddy Film' with Steve Coogan as the lonely and overcompensating single guy against the stable and happy family guy, Rob Brydon. Coogan's American 'Bird' flies back across the pond just before their planned gourmand trip to the North of England. Coogan (who evidently can't be alone) reluctantly dragoons semi-friend Brydon to fill the gap. Add a subtext of Coogan's jealousy of Brydon as they incessantly try to one-up each other. Brydon mostly wins in a road film that never leaves second gear.

Culled from a six part BBC series, "The Trip" has precious few moments of high hilarity - an impression 'Bond/Scaramanga-Off' between the comics is one of them - but there are many miles of improvisation that are neither funny nor engaging.

Then there's the dour Coogan who, at the top of his game career-wise, is depressed and moody. His low self esteem leads to a downer ending with a slapped on feel. Not familiar with the series, it's obvious the meat of this story was eviscerated and left in the editing system's Trim Bin.

"The Trip" also feels like Her Majesty's Travelogue. A celebration of British cuisine and 'The North' are in-jokes best suited to a Brit sensibility. (This reviewer has first hand knowledge of British food - it is truly abysmal.) The poems and residences of famous English poets are also featured.

In case you haven't been paying attention, we've already put Buddy Comedy, Serious Drama, Series Compilation Reel and Travelogue into the mixer. Hit 'High' for about 140 minutes and voilà; a flat, muddled concoction with the consistency of molasses.

"The Trip" might have been an entertaining series. It should have been left standing on its merit. (Though seeing only about one-third does not create a strong desire to see the rest.)

The blurring of the line between the real and narrative Coogan and Brydon demonstrates an unfortunate lack of creative commitment. This is an idea that sounds far better on paper. "The Trip" is an exercise in commerce over common sense. Plan a staycation instead.
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7/10
Middleaged journey
stensson11 August 2011
It has become somewhat of a genre in itself, these films about men in their 40s/50s who have dinner together and summon their lives. Often it's sarcastic and bitter in a funny way. This is no exception.

Two actors tour fancy restaurants in Northern England. There's supposed to be reviews, but most of the time they imitate famous actors in the meanest of ways. And criticize each other's imitations.

They are slightly ridiculous and seem to love it. This is a rather warm movie about middle age crisis, but not a very profound one. But a big plus for the beautiful nature sceneries, which you care much more about than the laughable food these men eat.
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9/10
Brilliant - Sideways with less dental work & drama
chf_225817 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I enjoyed this movie and learned some things that may be useful should I appear on Jeopardy. The banter (some I believe was improv) and the story are well-executed...and as with many men nothing is analyzed too deeply and humor & sarcasm are the main defense mechanisms. This isn't required theater viewing but the landscapes and countryside may be better suited for the big screen. In addition, the women that are in the movie seemed real(istic?).

As an aside, if Coogans' career is at that up or down juncture, what a great way to further showcase his talents. His partner-in-crime, Rob, is great as well. He was funny and came off as that guy who seems content with their mission in life and takes the important things seriously.

All Woody Allen fans will be impressed with a couple of scenes.
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