Review: Friends find meals, melancholy in 'The Trip to Greece'
Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon return for fourth and possibly final entry in "Trip" series
By now, you know the deal: Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon sit down for a meal in an exotic locale, impersonate celebrities, gently but pointedly rib each other and then do it all over again.
"The Trip to Greece" doesn't alter the formula, and finds Coogan and Brydon again going through their Rolodex of impersonations in their familiar game of polite yet hostile one-upmanship. As always, the laughs slightly sting.
Yet by the end, the darkness that has always crept around the edges of this series finally spills over, making this "Trip" more of an existential crisis than a happy getaway.
"Greece" is the fourth film in Coogan, Brydon and director Michael Winterbottom's "Trip" series, following the original "Trip" (2010) and jaunts to Italy (2014) and Spain (2017).
Here they're loosely retracing the steps of Odysseus, but that's just background for the familiar rhythms of the series (eat, impersonate, repeat) and the two friends at its core.
There's a pulsating rhythm to their dialogue, and an earned familiarity between the two actors. Coogan and Brydon play slightly heightened versions of themselves, who when they're not taking on impressions of Mick Jagger, Ray Winstone, Dustin Hoffman or Marlon Brando are needling each other about their respective levels of fame or ego.
Brydon, the less famous of the two, takes particular joy in cutting down Coogan, who's more than happy to play up his self-obsession, at one point reading aloud reviews from 2018's "Stan and Ollie."
Yet the melancholy of the outside world eventually creeps in and crashes the party like an unwelcome dinner guest, bringing "Greece" to an oddly unsettling finish.
After this trip, you'll need a vacation.
'The Trip to Greece'
Not rated: Language
Running time: 103 minutes