Johnny English Reborn (Rowan Atkinson, Gillian Anderson) : Movie Review
Remember Johnny English? Probably not.
Rowan Atkinson’s “other” movie franchise (after Mr Bean) didn’t exactly set the English-speaking world on fire with its gentle spoofery of the James Bond films. But Atkinson is a big star the world over – visual gags translate well – so presumably if he wants to do another Johnny English film, who’s going to say no?
And if that sounds like the kind of reasoning used to justify going along with a super villain’s evil scheme, that’s because this film could very well be a super villain’s evil scheme – but only if said super villain was using it as a tax dodge or something equally bland and dull.
Competent is not a word you want to use about a comedy, but it’s pretty much all this Bond pastiche has going for it.
Well, that and a couple of moderately successful sight gag sequences (English chases after an escaping bad guy across high-rise rooves simply by using ladders and taking lifts rather than leaping all over the place).
Cast-wise there are some decent names here (Dominic West, Gillian Anderson, Rosamund Pike) doing exactly what’s required of them, and Atkinson himself still clearly has the chops to be funny on the rare occasions when the script rises higher than having him put on lipstick or scoot around in a motorised wheelchair.
Everything else does its job and nothing more, and when the job is to poke fun at the Bond films – a job done seemingly at least once every year and we’ve already had Cars 2 do it – that’s really not enough.
This is one of those films seemingly aimed at kids because adults wouldn’t bother with it; anyone whose spent any time near kids knows they demand more, not less, from their films.
Which makes this a review a warning – unless you’re dealing with kids that are extremely easily amused, this isn’t going to keep them in their seats.
WATCH OUT FOR | RATING : 2 OUT OF 5