“Death is but a moment, cowardice is a lifetime of affliction.”
Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon play somewhat alternate versions of themselves in this film based on their TV series of the same name which was also directed by Michael Winterbottom. About 70 minutes have been cut off from the series to fit the film format, but the flow of the story doesn't seem to be affected by it. The Trip is a fun ride which banks on the strong chemistry between Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon while also exploiting the gorgeous landscape of Northern England. The script is mostly improvised and the funniest moments are when Coogan and Brydon are competing over who can imitate Michael Caine better. They also have fun imitating Woody Allen, Ian McKellan, Sean Connery, among others. The plot revolves almost entirely on both actors conversing with each other as they are driving through the beautiful landscape or eating at elegant restaurants, and as boring as the premise sounds, the film works nonetheless thanks to their chemistry.
Perhaps the greatest critique I might have towards this film is that Coogan is supposed to be touring through Northern England to write about the food served at these elegant restaurants, but there is almost no discussion about it. We get plenty of scenes of them eating, but they rarely discuss the food and neither of them seem to be qualified to do so. The film looks amazing because of the wonderful locations and the great food, but it is only an excuse to get these two actors together on a road trip. Coogan was actually supposed to tour the country with his girlfriend, but she had to return to America so he is forced to travel with Rob. The Trip does focus on Steve's fading relationship with her and due to the terrible reception in every inn they stay at, he is forced to make the calls out in the open with the gorgeous backdrop which elevates the film even more. The friendship between Steve and Rob isn't the typical bond you'd see in a buddy comedy either, since there is some competition between both of them and Steve seems to be aggravated towards him most of the time. There is an air of superiority that he exudes which plays somewhat on the familiar theme of ego and envy among actors. It isn't a great film, but it has its fun moments and it looks amazing.