Jo Hawk

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Johnny English Reborn

20 November 2013

Johnny English Reborn                                  2 ½ stars


I never expected the first “Johnny English” to have a sequel and especially not one after all the time it took for a sequel to come out; what we get with this second serving is round about the same quality as the first. “Johnny English Reborn” is another comedy that has its moments but overall falls short.

In this movie star of the great “Mr. Bean” tv series and it’s less-impressive film counterparts Rowan Atkinson is the worst spy in the history of British spies and was therefore fired for his incompetence but his agency need him back because there is a plot to kill the Chinese premier. As English tries to hunt down the assassins we witness a decent amount of buffoonery.

Atkinson is unbelievably great as Mr. Bean in the two tv series (live-action and animated) but the more speech he adds to these morons, the less funny he becomes. With “Blackadder” Atkinson understood this by making his character more sly and cunning. Atkinson has had real trouble with his jump to the big screen. There are some other characters of course but they aren’t all the funny because they even pale compared to this weaker version of Atkinson’s screen persona.

I like the two scenes where English keeps mistaking people for being a Chinese assassin and therefore tackles them and bashes their head in with a tray, one of them is his boss’ mother; can you guess what the next one is? I also liked the scene with his martial arts training but those two are by far the funniest scenes and after that, the rest of the film seems a little disappointing. As I’ve said before, I don’t really see this as better or worse than the first but the big difference between the two is that the first seemed smaller budgeted and therefore more grounded in reality but on the other hand the more expensive look of this one makes it more like a “James Bond” picture.