Review: Third installment of Steve Coogan’s ‘Trip’ movies a pleasure, even if uneven

“The Trip to Spain” was directed by Michael Winterbottom and is based on a BBC series in which British actors Coogan and Rob Brydon travel through England (“The Trip,” 2010), Italy (“The Trip to Italy,” 2014) and now Spain. Rating: 3 stars out of 4.

At one point in “The Trip to Spain,” Rob Brydon, at a restaurant table in Spain, imitates Mick Jagger imitating Rob Brydon imitating Michael Caine. (I’ll pause for you to catch up with that sentence. All good now?) And then Steve Coogan jumps in, imitating Brydon imitating Jagger imitating Brydon imitating Caine, throwing in a head-jerking, peacocky move and a puffed-out penguin chest and a weird little airborne clap, and all you can think is, a) yes, that is exactly what Mick Jagger sounds like, and b) I wish I were at that table.

That’s the pleasure of the uneven but enjoyable “Trip” movies, of which this is the third installment: For better or worse, it’s almost like being at that table. Directed by Michael Winterbottom (“In This World,” “Tristram Shandy,” “A Mighty Heart”), this trio is perhaps filmdom’s oddest franchise: It’s based on a BBC series in which British actors Brydon and Coogan — playing characters who happen to be British actors named Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan — travel through England (“The Trip,” 2010), Italy (“The Trip to Italy,” 2014) and now Spain; they dine in lovely restaurants, stay in beautiful hotels and, mostly, sit around doing impressions between bites.

If this sounds like a rather weak hook to hang an entire movie on, well, I won’t argue: The “Trip” movies, like the anchovies Coogan and Brydon happily devour, aren’t to everyone’s taste. This installment, despite a fair bit of bittersweet musing about middle age (noting that they are now ripe fruit, one wonders “Is it better to be plucked, or to drop?”) and…

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