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The Trip to Greece – Movie Review

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The Trip to Greece – Movie Review

Rating: B (Good)

Trailer/Thumbnail Courtesy Elevation Pictures

Over the past ten years, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon have gone on vacations and filmed themselves traveling to the sites and doing celebrity impersonations. The Trip to Greece is the latest installment and delivers exactly what you expect. The result is a charming travelogue with two hosts who are frequently cracking jokes. There’s a likeability to these projects and they do the job of making you feel like you’re taking the trip with them. Director Michael Winterbottom knows to let his actors do their thing, while also capturing some amazing shots of the countries they go to. Nobody will be traveling for a while, so The Trip to Greece offers the next best thing.

The minute we see Coogan and Brydon having their conversations, we know we’re in for a good time. Even when they’re slightly mocking each other in that typical British way, it’s more like a gentle ribbing. The highlights, as always, are the restaurant table scenes. There’s something endearing watching these two comedians sharing a nice meal and bantering. The impressions are quite funny, especially when they start comparing their own. The scenes with both of them in the car also provide plenty of laughs, especially when they start singing. There’s a particularly funny bit where Brydon talks about his favourite musical, much to Coogan’s disinterest.

The other reason to watch The Trip to Greece is to see the country’s incredible scenery. You really get the sense of history as they travel to the same locales Odysseus visited. For anyone who has never been to Greece, it provides a nice snapshot of the country’s famous landmarks. What helps this film stand out from documentaries and other travel films is the relatability to making long trips and walking tirelessly all over the place, just to soak in as much culture as possible. There is a decent variety to the number of Greek cities we see and Winterbottom and director of photography James Clarke capture some impressive shots. You can almost smell the salt water when the two of them stop by a seaside restaurant.

There is a story in The Trip to Greece, but that provides the least interesting part. One understands the need to create an arc for Coogan, but this side story just gets in the way of the main reason the audience watches these movies. Seeing Coogan and Brydon making jokes and walking about is more than enough, that the extra baggage isn’t needed. The film is edited from a season of television episodes, but it’s a credit to Winterbottom and editor Marc Richardson that it never comes across that way in this cut. For those who enjoy the experience, it’s welcoming to know there is more material out there.

The Trip to Greece ultimately does the job of teaming up Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon and whether you’re here for their impersonations, them joking about their respective careers (there’s even an unexpected Percy Jackson & the Olympians reference) or just to take in the Greek countryside and landmarks, you will find what you’re looking for. Michael Winterbottom makes the audience a fly on the wall, making them feel like they’re on vacation with these two. During this period where everyone is cooped up inside, The Trip to Greece is exactly the sort of escapism one could use.

Stefan Ellison