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A Film Diary

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Watched: 10 October

I laughed quite a lot during this third installment of Michael Winterbottom’s gastro-road trip series, in which Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon once again play versions of themselves. The set-up is now very familiar, assuming that you’ve seen the earlier shows set in England and Italy, and there’s more bickering, one-upmanship and terrific scenery across the latest three hours to enjoy, which are broken down into 30-minute episodes. The obvious highlights still come from the duo’s impressions, of which the recurring Bowie and Jagger take-offs are the best. However the pathos – mostly emanating from the petty, pedantic, insecure version of Coogan presented here – is still a major delight, and once more it contrasts with Brydon’s easy-going, unflappable ability to deflect the endless stream of career-related barbs that come his way. Much as I like her as an actor, things tail off a little in the last two episodes when Claire Keelan’s PA Emma arrives (initially with a photographer in tow), while the ISIS-related finale doesn’t quite work within the framework of the show. But for the most part it’s a lot of fun. (***½)

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