Trip to Spain
Starring Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon, Claire Keelan, Marta Barrio
The two comedians re-team for their third “Trip” Following original (2010), sequel “Italy” (2014), ‘Spain’ begs for something a bit different than what we have seen from the two in the past. Again, playing heightened versions of themselves, ‘Spain’ doesn’t provide the appeal that the stunning coastline Italy presented. The two funny Brits again hit the same impersonations we have seen before (Caine-Moore-McJagger) as they casually eat and drink their way through the Spanish countryside, avoiding the more well-known and iconic cities.
Between acting jobs, Coogan is tapped to do an article on cuisine around Spain, to which he calls his trusty travel companion Brydon for another adventure. They ferry from a local port to North Spain where the trip commences. “This is more romantic, like a journey,” Brydon remarks at Coogan’s choice to ferry instead of fly. Brydon leaving his wife and two children back in London, Coogan steal sneaking around with the married woman, pause everything to stay in various castles and seek out the country’s most authentic dishes. Coogan can’t stop talking about his Oscar nomination for writing Philomena, and struggles with the changes at his talent agency. Brydon has become completely comfortable in allowing Coogan to have the best room, final say and taking charge of their journey.
Newcomers to the material will find this more entertaining, than someone who’s already taken this type of journey twice already.
The trilogy can work on multiple levels for multiple audiences. You don’t have to see the films in any particular order, nor is it necessary to have seen the first two in order to enjoy ‘Spain’. In fact, I think newcomers to the material will find this more entertaining, than someone who’s already taken this type of journey twice already. The material isn’t really changing from film to film, only the scenery. Someone about to travel around Spain might find this film more useful/entertaining than the one about Italy or London, or visa-versa. Tastes and your own personal interest in sites will also effect the enjoyment of the film which in this case is particularly mountainous and seafood based.
Coogan and Brydon are both funny in their special ways, although the Cinderella/Huntsman actor edges out the Oscar nominee for laughs on this one. Both men try to make themselves feel better about growing old which leads to minor laughs. However, their impersonations of the same cast of characters are getting a bit stale. They need new material if this series of films is to continue. When Coogan’s assistant Emma (Keelan) arrives at the tail end of their trip it’s a welcome break from the two dueling men. Trip to Spain isn’t groundbreaking and often slides into such familiar territory you can take a bathroom break and get back while they are on one single impersonation.
‘Spain’ proves these trips might need some new life in them.