Fantastic Fest Review: ‘The Trip’ is fun, funny, and mean-spirited as hell.

We’ve all been there. That feeling of being trapped in a relationship and not seeing a way out, knowing that you need to act but not knowing exactly what to do. The characters in The Trip are in this place, but rather than taking an ordinary course of action, they separately decide to kill each other. Things only go downhill from there, and the movie that follows takes this couple and puts them through the wringer. It’s brutal, and it’s problematic, and it’s pretty fun.

Lars (Aksel Hennie) and Lisa (Noomi Rapace) are the couple in question, and each of them is a self-absorbed jerk; each puts their own needs first, and neither even thinks about reaching out to the other to speak about their problems. Instead, Lars (a director) spends the first 20 minutes of the film making sure everyone knows that Lisa will be taking a long walk by herself when they head to the family cabin for the weekend, buying rope and speaking to his accomplice. Once he gets up the nerve to sneak up behind her with a hammer, she immediately turns the tables and hits him with a taser. When he wakes up, they have a heart to heart about how and why they are where they are, and eventually, she reveals her plan for him to die in a hunting accident.

Of course, before anything can get that far, they are interrupted by the three escaped criminals that have been squatting in their attic. This is where things go really sideways. The criminals are each a stereotype: a psychotic gay man (Christian Rubeck), a highly intelligent sociopath (Atle Antonsen), and a nazi (André Eriksen). The rest of the movie is, in a word, brutal, and if you are thinking that the torture Lars and Lisa endure ends up being a form of therapy, you’d be right.

Of course, that’s not to say that anyone actually learns anything.

There are some problematic things going on in The Trip, too, from homophobic jokes to assertations about what makes a man that feels as though they are intended as satire but don’t quite land that way. Still, Hennie and Rapace are both clearly having fun with these characters. Most of the big laughs come from them, and their chemistry when connecting is just as potent as it is acidic when they are fighting.

And when there is physical fighting, you remember that director Tommy Wirkola is the guy who made Dead Snow, Dead Snow 2, and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. So if you like blood and guts and gore, then this film is definitely going to be for you.

The Trip is a little too long and unevenly paced, but it’s also fun, funny, and gory and totally worth your time.

The Trip (I Onde Dager) played as part of Fantastic Fest 2021 and will be released by Netflix in North America on 15th October.


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