Actors Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan travel from Troy to Ithaca following in the footsteps of the Odysseus for their fourth movie in “The Trip” series.
They only have six days but manage to hit The Temple of Apollo at Delphi, the Ancient Agora of Athens, the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, the unique island of Hydra, the Caves of Diros, Nestor’s Palace, Kiokastro Fortress in Pylos and Ancient Stagira, as well as destination restaurants and luxury hotels.
Over the past decade, actor-comedian Steve Coogan and his best friend, actor-comedian Rob Brydon, have taken us on excursions that showcase scenic countrysides, stunning panoramic vistas, exquisite meals and luxurious comfort in northern England, Italy, Spain and Greece.
While the locales are breathtaking, what makes this more than a fancy travelogue is the witty showbiz banter. The scripts are largely improvised and while they are playing heightened versions of themselves, the film is fiction. Therefore, the family stories aren’t real – but seem genuine.
The erudite pair dispense nuggets of facts about their whereabouts while they show off their wit. Experts at impressions, the pair try to one-up each other as they mimic famous celebrities. Their riff on Dustin Hoffman movies is impressive.
They also argue, with topics sparked by being at the cradle of drama, democracy and history. The humor is what I most look forward to, whether they are bickering while driving or breaking bread.
Both men gained prominence for characters created on BBC television shows, and this series started on television. Coogan has more well-known film roles, usually playing jerks or clueless blowhards, and co-wrote the Oscar-nominated “Philomena.” But even if you are not familiar with their work, or the other films in this series, that does not detract from this movie.
This time, however, their personal odyssey has both tragedy and comedy.
Nevertheless, it’s another enjoyable romp. They had me at the azure Aegean Sea.