September 01, 2017

R: August 25th, 2017 | R: 111 minutes | R: NR

The TRIP films, now a trilogy, have always paralleled the BEFORE films, also a trilogy, in its anchoring of mundane conversation as a way of connecting to the audience in a social event. Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon play fictionalized roles of themselves, bantering one another as they are served appetizing dishes along the way of a road trip through Spain. As usual, director Michael Winterbottom selects beautiful backdrops of the host country to purposefully create a mood of showmanship and camaraderie.

After all, TRIP TO SPAIN is not much different from THE TRIP or TRIP TO ITALY, except for less emphasis on the culinary aspect and more of those hilarious impression-offs of British actors. However, this film does get a more serious tone than the previous two. Steve and Rob are often pondering their own mortality as they realize they're getting older as all these trips take place, and a couple important plot twists give the trip a grim vibe. Especially during the third act, when the film suffers from an inexplicably disastrous ending. Comedy had never met tragedy in Steve and Rob's lives, and suddenly we see these lovable characters experience intimate and earnest moments.

If you have seen and enjoyed their previous work, then this relaxing third trip is a highly recommended film. Their dry, witty humor is back, and so is their idealized friendship, unaffected by fame or age but nevertheless a metaphor for the nature of life.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Gerardo Gerardo (Contributor) is a film student living in Philadelphia. He usually prefers independent and classic films, but he will watch anything in theaters.
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