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United Kingdom 2014
Directed by
Michael Winterbottom
108 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3.5 stars

The Trip To Italy

Synopsis: Popular British media personalities, Steve Coogan and Rob Bryden go on a gastronomic road trip from Liguria to Capri during the Italian summer.

When you’re on a good thing stick to it, so the saying goes. In Hollywood this strategy usually disappoints but in the case of British director Michael Winterbottom and his stars Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon the return to their successful  BBC TV show and subsequent film, The Trip, bears fruit that are just as tasty as the original crop.

The format is the same, with Coogan and Bryden restaurant-hopping their way around the Italian countryside, trading bon mots, doing impersonations and snipping at each other’s vulnerable egos. Some of the set pieces, such as a spoof of Christian Bale's Batman, Tom Hardy's Bane and Michael Caine’s Alfred are amusing showcases of the pair’s skills as impersonators but, as before, the film, for which Winterbottom has the sole writer’s credit, carries one along casually on a gentle stream of delightfully sardonic humour and gay repartee. Somewhat disappointingly, the food barely rates a mention.

This time around we get the scenic attractions of the magnificent Italian coastline whilst Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley get interwoven with the pop cultural references which range from Alanis Morrisette to Audrey Hepburn. There’s a slightly over-played dwelling on mortality and an improbable dalliance for Bryden (to balance out Coogan's in the first film).  If you were pleased with the previous instalment you won’t be disappointed and if you're a first-timer then be prepared for an affable experience.

 

 

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