Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Trip to Spain

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching.  What can I do to be included in their next trip?  I won't say a word.  I just want to be there.

The Trip to Spain – 4 out of 5

To me, a trip is running to the store for some groceries or basic necessities (or crap I don’t need) because I just don’t have the funds to do anything luxurious or extravagant.  I mean, in theory I could save up to travel to Europe and see some beautiful landscapes, meet some interesting people and indulge in the local cuisine but by the time I’d have enough money to actually make this dream a reality, some sort of crisis would hit and that money has to put to use to pay a medical bill or make repairs to my car or home.  Welcome to America where the middle class no longer exists and we’re all just different degrees of working poor!  So, not having this option a realistic idea, I’ll just settle for the movie The Trip to Spain.

These movies have given me such preconceived notions of how these two are
together that, in real life, they are probably very quiet and subdued.

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are back to once again play dramatized versions of themselves.  Steve invites Rob to join him on another tour, this time of Spain.  On the way, the two engage in a battle of comedic wits, relentlessly try to out-do each other with their impersonations and, at the same time, juggle their personal lives and ever changing and challenging careers.  While all this is occurring, the two chow down on some amazing meals at some incredible restaurants and enjoy the scenic views.

"Steve's kidnapping me and taking me on another amazing trip!
Don't help me!"

I honestly could watch another dozen of these
movies.  Hell, I'd watch one where they travel
the Midwest and hit all the crappy chain
Compared to the previous features that centers around these two funny men travelling, absolutely nothing has changed.  Director Michael Winterbottom stayed with the same formula and it works.  On the surface, it may essentially look like the exact same feature but that’s only in the fact that the ingredients are the same.  You still have Coogan and Brydon doing their amazing impressions, there’s still the witty dialogue and dry humor.   Winterbottom still makes great use of B-roll and editing in gorgeous landscapes and the frenzy of activity that is going on in the kitchens of the locations the two are dining at.  There are still some amazing meals that make me hungry looking at them—even now as I type this my stomach is growling just thinking about it.  All of these same elements are blended together and yet, the experience still feels unique and the journey feels completely different from the others.

Yes, that looks good but check out how cool those plates are!

What makes this trip different from the others is not only the new destination but the new developments that we see in Steve and Rob.  Drama over how their careers are traversing and difficulties that exist and suddenly appear in their families help make what we are seeing feel completely different from what we’ve already witnessed.  Add in new discussions between the two and new impressions and the entire film only has a passing and fleeting similarity to what has already been seen.

I got kicked out of a Panera for having an impression contest once.
Granted, I was by myself but I don't see how that has to do with anything.

The Trip to Spain is one of those features that are able to feel both familiar and new at the same time.  Superfluously, the movie is exactly the same as The Trip and The Trip to Italy but as you dive deeper and witness the path these two funny men are taking, you witness just how different it really is.  It’s really no different than having a beer or going out to dinner with a group of friends.  You know these people  intimately, you might even tell the same stories or have a collection of inside jokes and the experience to other people may look and feel the same as the other times you’ve hung out but, when you peel back the superficial layers, you find something that really feels all its own.  That's the charm of The Trip to Spain, it's like a trip we've watched before but with its new locale and new dramatic turns, it feels like a completely fresh journey.  It's just a very engaging and amusing movie that has a lot of charm, two charismatic leads and just the right touch of drama to make it interesting.

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