I’m sure there are plenty of people who have done this bit in the car when listening to the radio, myself included, but nobody can perform such private mockery with such gusto as these two. They’re masters of amusing themselves.
One of the best bits that comes off cute is when Brydon and Coogan share a meal and attempt to play up the old spy movie trope of poisoning the food. They start switching glasses and plates, pretending as though one meal or drink was poisoned and need to position it accordingly. One of them will pretend to be dying while the other smugly states that they should have kept a closer eye on the waiter. A scene such as this could have gone over the top or turned too childish, but not for such skilled impressionists who are committed to the gag.
Even though The Trip to Spain is essentially more of the same comedic formula, it’s a rich one that only gets better as the two leads strive to out-funny each other and work for it. There’s still characters worth following with a story to tell, including a shocking twist ending that I won’t spoil here, and the scenes of Spain seen mostly through restaurants and winding roads are very beautiful.
But, let’s face it, the nature of these conversations is so expertly grounded and defined in the most easing of presentations that the next film could be The Trip to Antarctica and still be funny. I’ll bet Brydon could pull off a mean Werner Herzog with the most hilarious of results.