Perhaps the joke is that this concept for a film is deeply flawed as it flounders to find something historical or silly. If it is a comedy, the laughs come few and far between, the silliest segment being where Paisley quotes scripture and shouts at a gas station attendant to accept their credit card. But then there are far too many moments when the laughs disappear and lesser drama steps in, ripping most of its sentimentality from real and horrific events. McGuinness tearfully confesses in a graveyard that he doesn’t feel right talking to his daughter about the violence in the street, only for Paisley to coldly brush off his attempt at evoking sympathy. Any meaning that scene might have had evaporates when followed by the gas station scene.
I usually don’t mind when historical pictures attempt to rewrite a little bit of history to conceive a story with perspective, but there is no perspective at all. In trying to evoke an entertaining aspect out of the Irish civil wars and political leaders, The Journey is so lost in whipping up such a bizarre premise that it becomes lost in its desperation for drama and comedy. At the very least, the film should get a few people interested in looking up the true story of the Chuckle Brothers and how they really came together. And they’re certainly going to be in for a surprise when they discover that the two did not resolve their differences while milling about Ireland and bickering in a car. The poor student who thinks they can skip the reading and write a report on these two figures from watching this movie is in for the biggest F grade of his life.