#REVIEW: “THE TRIP TO GREECE”
Review by George Kozera for Mr. Will Wong
THE TRIP TO GREECE is the fourth in a series of edited theatrical releases from a popular BBC series starring Steve Coogan and Tom Brydon. These real-life friends play fictionalized versions of themselves (with just enough career facts to make it fun and interesting) as they travel throughout a designated country soaking in the culture and, most importantly, the cuisine. The three previous movies were filmed in Britain, Spain and Italy and this travelogue-slash-Food Porn feast takes us to less touristy islands in Greece. It is visually-entrancing and the food served will have one salivating, all directed lusciously by Michael Winterbottom. But the most appetizing part of The Trip to Greece is spending time with Coogan and Brydon. Their banter in these movies continue to tickle and be savoured. Whether it’s Brydon’s observations of Coogan’s BAFTAs-nominated performance as Stan Laurel in Stan & Ollie, to both waxing eloquently about Greek poetry and philosophy; from spot on imitations of Marlon Brando in The Godfather, Dustin Hoffman’s career from The Graduate to Tootsie and Rain Man, Anthony Hopkins and even Godzilla to bursting spontaneously into songs from the Bee Gees, these two actors excel at every point.
That said, it is the most melancholic film from the Series and at times felt a tad too passive/aggressive. While most of the humour hit the mark successfully, a select few spots landed with a thud: the first time Brydon sings “Grease is the word” was ingenious considering where they were but subsequent use of the lyrics felt like it was a desperate attempt for a laugh. The restaurant kitchen scenes were delectable to watch until one questions why every restaurant had one scene of a frying pan flare-up. There were also seriously long, yet gloriously-executed stretches where nothing interesting happens. The Film needed an Editor who was as enamoured with the pair as Michael Winterbottom was.
However, these quibbles should not distract you from seeing THE TRIP TO GREECE. When it shines, which is nearly all its running time, it is marvelous entertainment. In these troubled times, it is a perfect escape to stunning vistas, fine dining and, most importantly, the wit, laughter and love friends share when they are together.
THE TRIP TO GREECE is out now on Digital and On-Demand.