If anything has been concretely proven righteous in the past decade, is that the formula for the The Trip saga is easily one of the most infinitely re-watchable, quotable, and enjoyable concepts for any film franchise out there. A ridiculously simplistic idea anchored by two admirable comics, The Trip and all of it’s sequels have enamored the hearts and souls of the indie film crowd over the 2010’s. Now, it seems as though the franchise has come to an end. In their fourth and final installment, Brydon and Coogan return for a road trip movie to end all road trips movie (sorry Wim Wenders). This time around, the duo explore Greece, in what’s essentially a 90 minute tourism commercial filled with hilarious conversations, and a finale that’ll make you feel emotionally toiled. It’s a strange conclusion to one of the greatest franchise films out there, though it’s still an admirable achievement from Winterbottom and co.
The film’s finale is strangely more bold and mature than the previous Trip entries. Ending the relationship in modest dark waters between the dynamic duo, the film’s last minute turn of events is shockingly mature. Coogan’s performance shines through his character’s adversity, as the film briskly shifts directions into a more tragic path. The end leaves the audience on a more sour, melancholic note, where we witness a different side of Steve Coogan’s persona. We see his family-oriented side, and how his personality drastically shifts when the scenario at play becomes more grim. What started as a tale of friendship, turns into a light commentary on compassion, and how even the most humorous of people can become just as heartbroken and devastated as everybody else. It subverts the expectations brought upon the two iconic figures from the prior films, and roles with the concept with plenty of dramatic intrigue.
Don’t expect The Trip to Greece to be a grandiose sob story. For the most part, it keeps the same iconic tropes you expect from a film from this iconic franchise. Impressions are of course a must, where Brydon and Coogan bicker and banter while impersonating famous celebrities and icons such as Dustin Hoffman, Marlon Brando, Tom Hardy, Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Bond, Werner Herzog, and Anthony Hopkins. Oh, and of course there’s Brydon’s iconic Small Man in a Box impression that never fails to blow my socks off. Seriously, how can the guy pull that impression off every single time so perfectly?
At the end of the day, The Trip to Greece is just more of the same old shtick. It’s amusing without a doubt, but nothing will beat the first time in which Coogan and Brydon got together for the first film. There’s the occasional fun moment, one being a particular throwback to Winterbottom’s previous feature Greed, where Coogan encounters one his co-stars, whom of which he can’t remember. The situation escalates to the point where the duo end up near by a refugee camp. Small moments like those make The Trip to Greece worthwhile, especially with it’s modest runtime of 100 minutes.
As a conclusion to a lengthy ten year journey of impressions and friendship, The Trip to Greece is satisfactory in that regard. It may not be the best out of The Trip tetralogy, in which it missed the mark in wrapping up loose ends such as the incalculably absurd conclusion to The Trip to Spain; but for the most part what you get is some lovely scenery, great gags, and delicious cuisine. Covering Turkey, Macedonia, and Greece in one film is a feat which should already raise alarms for those who love to travel; let alone those who love Brydon & Coogan and their several hi-jinks across Europe. In that regard alone, it’s a must watch.
The Trip To Greece will be available to rent and purchase on VOD on May 22nd