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THE TRIP TO GREECE gets 7/10 The Odd-yssey


Directed by Michael Winterbottom

Starring Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon
Network: Stan

7/10

Those connoisseurs of great food, lush travels, and the art of impersonations are back, in this fourth instalment of The Trip series. This time, the comedy duo (Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, essentially playing themselves) come to Greece to recount Odysseus’ seven-year trek to get back to Ithaca – but it really almost doesn’t matter which European city they’re in now, as it seems each of these four films are becoming interchangeable, suffering (mildly) diminishing returns as a result.

But still, it’s Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon! In Greece! Having amusing conversations and doing funny impersonations! It’s a fairly successful formula that this duo and director Michael Winterbottom have nailed, which has been altered very, very little with each new entry. There’s a little bit of drama at home about Coogan’s ill dad, which ultimately lends itself to a conclusion that shows some sort of emotional disparity between Coogan and Brydon.

But the winning formula is what makes The Trip to Greece feel so familiar (if you’ve seen the previous entries), yet also feel so alluring and irresistibly watchable. This entire series is made up of mostly dinners, car rides, and general wandering about, as Coogan and Brydon very amusingly bring their modern day sardonic and dry jokes to these tourist wonders of Europe.

At a time when an actual trip to Greece is pretty much impossible, this film has picked the right time to emerge. It’s also picked a right place to be, skipping the cinemas and going straight to streaming – this ain’t Tenet, this is not a film that demands the big screen, and comfy home viewing of this seems preferable. There are some great shots that capture the natural and historical beauty of the country, though when the film is relegated to shot-reverse-shots of Coogan and Brydon, the cinematography becomes more haphazard.

It’s hard to imagine if any future entries in this series are to be real ground-breakers, but The Trip to Greece is carried by the wit, humour, and charm between these two jokesters, who unveil a bit more of the family drama at home than before. Although the series seems to now be more suited to the TV than big screen, its emotional and humorous impact hasn’t been downgraded too much.

DAVID MORGAN-BROWN

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