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The Trip 2021 Movie Review Poster Trailer Online
For some reason, The Trip doesn’t open with a crazy scene that’s on the precarious lip of a suspenseful cliff before flashing back to the beginning — it just opens at the beginning. How very novel! So, a husband and wife sit in bed arguing and the conversation gets pretty nutty and out there and, as we suspected, they’re just actors on the set of a soap opera. Lars (Aksel Hennie) is the director. He chitchats with a co-worker about how he and his wife are going up to the cabin this weekend and he stresses repeatedly how she wants to go on a long hike into the mountains, and isn’t that dangerous? On his way home, he stops to visit his dad at the nursing home so the old man can question his manhood. Then he goes to the hardware emporium for a hammer, a hacksaw, some rope and duct tape — you know, the Serial Killer Special, $49.95.
He picks up Lisa (Rapace), and the bickering starts immediately. Needling. Irritation. Teensy little digs. Death by 1,000 cuts on both sides. Their professional lives are lousy and the poison’s bled into their personal lives. They get to the cabin and as he unloads his collection of suspicious tools, the camera lingers on a cabinet full of shotguns, and as she mills about the kitchen, the camera gets a lensful of butcher and bread knives. Why? No reason. Just the usual stuff you’d find in a cabin in the Norwegian forest where you might go hunting and then need to cut up the animal you killed.
Lars and Lisa drive each other nuts cooking and eating dinner, and before bed they play a game of Scrabble that only further sledgehammers the wedge between them. The next day, we follow Lars as he fetches the hammer from the basement and heads to the kitchen for two belts of booze, and the camera angle for this shot is canted, oh so very canted. He sneaks up behind Lisa and before he can ballpeen a hole in her skull she quickly turns around and tases him. It’s probably safe to say that marital counseling would be pointless at this stage of their relationship.
…Then again, Lars and Lisa do seem to finally be on the same page, homicidal though it may be, so loll that sweet and sticky caramel-flavored irony around in your mouth for a minute there. The revelation that they want to kill each other in the most literal fashion comes at the 21-minute mark of a 114-minute movie, so it’s not a spoiler to say things escalate from there, via a game of one-upspersonship that goes from cold to violent to utterly ruthless to extremely violent to repulsive to even more extremely violent to thoroughly complicated to flat-out gory as hell. And yes, other characters get involved, lest it get too repetitive. If you can hang with it through its demented twists and turns — no guarantees, love it or hate it, no deposit no return, mileage may vary, etc. — it’ll be to see what resolution Wirkola and co-screenwriters Nick Ball and John Niven came up with, and not because you root for any of these people, who are, at best, poor examples of the human species.
So I guess that means The Trip exists in the satire realm, where marital discord is depicted with immense exaggeration and grotesque homicidal impulses are rendered in rich, bloody reds. One wonders if Lars and Lisa find this elevation of confrontation therapeutic, going from passive-aggressive to insanely aggressive, dropping the sniper rifles for a knife fight, sometimes not at all in a metaphorical fashion. Wirkola occasionally crosses the line between bad taste (which is good; think John Waters) and tastelessness (which is bad; think R-rated Adam Sandler vehicles), spending the majority of the budget on burst blood vessels in eyes and viscous strings of various bodily fluids drooling from mouths and hamburgered knees and innards turned into out-ards — total gorebuckets, more splatter than two or three of those wussy middling slasher movies they make for eight-year-olds these days, he said, nudge wink grain of salt.
Anyway, the movie adheres to the cliche that all is fair in love and war. It’s amusing and irreverent, bleak and repulsive — and therefore an exercise in cognitive dissonance, I guess. It’s definitely conceived more in sickness than in health. For better or worse. ’Til death by disembowelment or shotgun do we part. I’m gonna stop there.