Poor Michael Caine.
Four years ago, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon mercilessly mimicked Caine’s accent in “The Trip,” a largely improvised road movie about two British jokers (and supposedly best friends) with a shocking weakness for one-upsmanship.
Caine is once again an audio-only target in the sequel, “The Trip to Italy.” Could he get royalties?
Last time the road took Coogan and Brydon through the Lake District of England. In the sequel, the scenery is even prettier, and so is the food. They go from Liguria to Capri, retracing the Romantic poets’ journey via half a dozen restaurants.
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Sequels have become unavoidable lately, and so have self-referential reboots. “Muppets Most Wanted” started with a musical number questioning whether follow-up films are necessary, and “The Trip to Italy” takes off with a facetious reference to “Godfather II.”
Otherwise, it’s pretty much the same formula. If you laughed at Coogan and Brydon’s (sometimes astonishing) mimicry in “The Trip,” you’ll smile again. If not, you probably won’t go out of your way to find the sequel.
If you’re not an enthusiast or you’ve never heard of Coogan or Brydon, you may find it more difficult to appreciate their banter. That’s apparently what happened at the Seattle International Film Festival last spring when “Italy” made its debut to a less-than-sympathetic audience, some of whom filed out long before the midway mark.
Or maybe they belonged to the Michael Caine fan club.
John Hartl: email@example.com