The Trip to Italy

“The dynamic duo of Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon return for another highly entertaining round of travel and food porn in “The Trip to Italy,” a most welcome sequel to 2010’s “The Trip” that follows our intrepid armchair gastronomes on a tour of Italy. Resolving not to fix what wasn’t broken, director Michael Winterbottom once again gives free reign to his stars’ improvisational gifts, juxtaposed with heaping plates of fresh pasta and seafood, reflections on art and literature, and incessant celebrity vocal impressions.
“A hangout movie in the purest sense, the first “Trip” threw Coogan and Brydon — cast as slightly exaggerated, odd-couple versions of themselves — together on a culinary odyssey through the north of England. What little plot there was served mainly to hold together the movie’s free-form comic digressions and sometimes surprisingly insightful discussions of career, family and middle age.
““Italy” sticks to more or less the same template. Soon enough he relents and they’re off, winding through Piemonte in a rented Mini. They engage in a new round of competitive celebrity impersonations, broadening their celebrated Michael Caine bake-off from the prior film to include the entire cast of “The Dark Knight Rises,” building to a terrific bit in which they imagine a shy assistant director attempting to tell Christian Bale and Tom Hardy to enunciate more clearly.
“Much of the pleasure of this latest “Trip” comes from the way Coogan and Brydon interact with their surroundings, using ancient history as rich comic fodder. And throughout, Winterbottom nods lovingly to Italy’s rich history as cinematic locale.
“Now and then, Winterbottom nudges the movie in the direction of narrative, but even when it’s just ambling about, “The Trip to Italy” casts a warm, enveloping spell, letting us ride along with two very funny men as they indulge in haute cuisine, serenely beautiful landscapes, and the pleasure of each other’s company.”-  Variety


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