IFC Films’ final entry in Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon’s The Trip To franchise – The Trip to Greece — is an intriguing end to the cinematic “series.” It is a presentation that, like its predecessors, audiences will either like or not. Viewers who are not already fans of British drama and comedy will not find themselves coming into the fold through this movie. The opposite applies for those who are fans of said brand of entertainment. Regardless of which side one takes on this franchise, its stars, and British movies and television, everyone will agree that this last entry to the noted franchise is worth watching at least once. That is thanks in part to the movie’s story. This will be addressed shortly. While the story proves itself a point of interest, it does create one notable concern, that being the issue of pacing. This will be addressed a little later. For all of the concern that the story’s pacing causes, the cinematography that is featured throughout keeps the story at least somewhat engaging. This will be discussed later, too. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of The Trip To Greece a slightly enjoyable new cinematic trip.
The Trip to Greece is an interesting finale for Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon’s globe hopping docu-dramedy “The Trip To…” franchise. While not a perfect ending to the franchise, it is worth watching at least once. That is due in part to its unique story. The story that is presented here is actually a two-part work that is one part drama and one part comedy. On one side, audiences follow Coogan and Brydon doing comic impersonations of their fellow actors (famed names, such as Sean Connery, Michael Kane, and Dustin Hoffman just to name a few) as they follow the journey of the legendary mythical warrior Odysseus. Just as a little back story, Odysseus’ story is that of his journey from a far-off land in an effort to return to his family. It is a very dramatic epic story. Throughout the course of Coogan and Brydon’s retracing of Odysseus’ journey, they meet “sirens” and deal with other figures along the way.
The comic factor of the duo’s story is just one aspect that is important to note. Along the way, audiences also see a more personal story for each, what with Brydon dealing with his wife’s illness while being away from her and his family and Coogan getting updates on the health of his own father from his son. This is where the interest really sets in. The emotion that Brydon and Coogan feel as they face those personal matters is a mirror of sorts to Odysseus’ journey and his desire to be home with his family in his story. That duality forms a firm foundation for the movie, and reason enough to give the movie a chance. Of course for all that the story does to make the movie interesting, the pacing thereof proves problematic.
The Trip to Greece clocks in at one hour, 43-minutes. However, even coming in at just under two hours, the story’s pacing makes it feel like it is nearly two-and-a-half-hours. Maybe it is because of all of the small-talk. Maybe it is the travel scenes. Maybe it is something else or everything combined. Either way, audiences will find themselves wanting to fast forward this flick multiple times throughout its run. Some might even give in to that urge. It just moves that slowly. The thing is that in fast forwarding, audiences might miss some important moments in the story that make the noted juxtaposition of the ancient and not so aged so important. To that end, even as much as audiences are going to want to fast forward, they will have to hold steady and not give in if they want to really capture the nuances of the story. It’s a sad trade-off, but one that is necessary. Luckily, as much as this story’s pacing detracts from the movie’s presentation, its cinematography makes the slow, plodding take at least somewhat bearable.
The cinematography that is featured throughout The Trip to Greece is outstanding. Whether it be the aerial shots of the bays or the seaside footage s Coogan and Brydon have their discussions, or even something as simple as the duo driving from point to point, the cinematography offers so much to appreciate. The way in which the footage was captured presents such a rich, lush landscape throughout the Mediterranean region. The colors are so well-balanced throughout the feature, even with so many standard style shots. It’s like watching a video postcard of sorts. It’s no Rick Steves show, considering how spit shined it is, but is still engaging in its own right. When this aspect is considered along with the movie’s central story, the two aspects make up for the problems posed by the movie’s pacing enough to make the movie an interesting presentation, just not perfect.
The Trip to Greece, the finale in IFC’s “The Trip To…” franchise is an intriguing end to the “series.” It proves itself worth watching in part because of its story. The story is a mirror of sorts to the journey which Odysseus faces in his mythical journey. Brydon and Coogan face the desire to be with family just as much as Odysseus. Each is re-united with family, but in different ways. That desire to be with family comes as the duo makes its way along the path that Odysseus took on his journey all while spoofing the work of some of their well-known contemporaries. As interesting as the story proves what with its duality and irony, the pacing thereof cannot be ignored. It does cause its own share of problems for the movie. Even as much as it detracts from the movie’s presentation, the movie’s cinematography makes up for that issue at least to a point. When it is considered alongside the movie’s central story, the two elements together make the movie a cinematic journey that audiences will find worth taking at least once. The Trip to Greece is available now. More information on this and other titles from IFC Films is available at:
To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.