‘The Trip to Greece’ is an Anticlimactic Farewell … and That’s OK

by KB Burke on May 22, 2020

in Print Reviews,Reviews

[Rating: Solid Rock Fist Up]

It’s been almost ten years and four movies that I’ve enjoyed with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon on their Trip movies. From England to Turkey & Greece in the latest and final installment, The Trip to Greece, the comedians have traveled and tasted the best of what Europe has to offer. While the fictional parodies of themselves have given me a few chuckles, along with plenty to see and salivate over, it is time to say goodbye—a theme that is very apparent throughout this movie.

As always, these films (which I didn’t know was a series on BBC!) has always been about a celebration of food and travel, as well as the comedic sparring of Coogan and Brydon. In this one, they’re ending their nearly ten year journey just like Odysseus (by Homer) by venturing from Troy to Ithaca. Everything is there that you expect from a Trip movie. They banter, sing, read poetry, and share history. And, of course, they do impressions. They seem much more competitive this time in everything that they do in an attempt to outdo each other. The focus on the food prep is very intentional this time, if not inordinate. The comedy is there but there’s nothing new under the sun. Typically that would be a bad thing but not in this case, if you enjoyed their humor from any of the previous films (or the series). 

I waited to see what the conflict with Steve was going to be this time. There’s always a conflict with Steve. Like the end of life’s excursions, it dealt with death. It definitely represented the sock and buskin they don at one point. There’s no comedy without tragedy. There were some Seventh Seal type interludes that definitely portrayed a question of one’s own mortality. Unfortunately, it added to the dichotomy of the film’s ending. Trip-wise, the ending is anticlimactic yet beautifully done, showing the dramatic side of both men’s lives and personalizing their odysseys.

Visually, it’s a beautiful film, filled with landscaping shots of the Greek countryside. In comparison, there are more overhead shots, probably from the advent of drone photography. There’s even a touch of romance. If this is our goodbye to our beloved Greek tragedy figures, I am glad that we got the chance to do so and that they brought us along for the ride.

KB is a native New Yorker/Midwest transplant who’s into tech, sports, and the arts, especially film and music. He still aspires to be a DJ in his other life. You can frequently catch him watching Hitchcock classics, film noir, and anything Star Wars.

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