REVIEW: The Trip

16 08 2014

The TripThis summer, Adam Sandler made a few headlines for admitting a fact that shocked many but surprised few: his movies are essentially paid vacations.  Be it the countryside in “Grown Ups,” Hawaii in “Just Go with It,” or Africa in his latest disappointing film “Blended,” Sandler certainly knows how to milk the studio teat.

Across the pond, it would appear that Steve Coogan has figured out how to pull a similar magic trick.  He stars as himself in “The Trip,” a film where he gets to go around with his pal Rob Brydon (also playing himself) on a restaurant bender around England.  Surely at some point along the way, Coogan thought to himself, “My, this a great way to eat well and expense the meals to the BBC!”

The film is not without its entertaining moments – a spirited discussion of how to properly impersonate Michael Caine’s voice springs to mind – but this hour and a 45 minute trip feels like an exercise in self-indulgence above all else.  “The Trip” is a chance to spend time with Coogan and Brydon just … because.

To be fair, Coogan is a much bigger star in his native England.  In the United States, we know him mostly as a character actor from films such as “Tropic Thunder” and “The Other Guys;” he has only really begun to enter our consciousness as a public figure with the arrival of 2013’s “Philomena.”  As for Rob Brydon, I hadn’t heard of him before “The Trip” and haven’t heard from him since.

So maybe the concept would work better for me if it was done by two actors with whom I was more familiar.  If a sequel to “22 Jump Street” doesn’t happen, “The Trip” with Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum would probably be just fine.  B-2stars