DATELINE: Early Coogan & Brydon Effort
At one point in Trip to Greece (2019), Steve Coogan disdainfully tells his son he has known Rob Brydon for eleven years. It’s somewhat of an underestimate. Coogan and Brydon made their first movie together in 2002. It was a BBC-TV comedy called Cruise of the Gods.
The first movie is actually similar to Galaxy Quest,the far more successful tale of a 1980s sci-fi series cast that is thrown together 20 years later. Indeed, Brydon is the dominant star in this film, but Coogan takes it away when he shows up.
They starred in a kiddie show as teenagers. Brydon has fallen on hard times outside the business—and Coogan is a big TV star (Sherlock Holmes in Miami).So, Brydon accepts a fan cruise for a week (and $2000 needed bucks). They don’t even ask Coogan, figuring he is too big to do such a ploy.
Yet, he is thrilled to meet his teen fans (now middle-aged nerds). James Corden is a teen in this, chubby and nearly playing a stalker of stars.
This all reminded this critic about his friend and cowriter, the late Jan Merlin, who starred in a sci-fi show for kids decades ago—and years later reluctantly went to fan shows (for which he was compensated).
The other point of interest is Rob Brydon who has not really aged at all in 20 years. He looks essentially the same as the teenager of 1982 and the 50-year old in the last Trip movie. He may not be handsome, but he is consistent in looks. Coogan has aged (hairdos being his bane).
Though this is billed as an affectionate tribute to fans, it is bitter and cynical, with the two stars not quite in their hostile mode for subsequent features.