Movie reviewer Bob Tremblay says, "This is the type of idiotic film only a 10-year-old boy with a 10 IQ would love, as its idea of humor is a kick to the groin. And if you think that’s funny, the film repeats the gag over and over again." Are you planning to see this movie? If you have seen it, do you agree with Bob? Let us know!
Watching “Johnny English” back in 2003 was as pleasurable as being subjected to radiation poisoning. You’ll wish for a much faster death if you have the misfortune of viewing its putrid sequel, “Johnny English Reborn.”
“Johnny English Stillborn” would have been a better title. As the film limped from one pathetic scene to another, I kept asking myself, “Where’s a good hari-kari sword when you need one?”
This is the type of idiotic film only a 10-year-old boy with a 10 IQ would love, as its idea of humor is a kick to the groin. And if you think that’s funny, the film repeats the gag over and over again.
Another recurrent joke has the title character, played by Rowan Atkinson of Mr. Bean fame, mistaking older women for an assassin and beating them over the head with a tray. Priceless.
Now you may be wondering why a sequel was made for a film that tanked at the box office in the United States. Sadly, the original was popular overseas, proving there are morons everywhere. Yet, were even they counting the years for a follow-up?
The film opens with a disgraced Johnny English, a British intelligence officer (and the word “intelligence” should be used loosely here), trying to get his mojo back in Tibet. He eventually returns to England where his assignment is to uncover an assassination plot against the Chinese premier. He learns that a group of international assassins called Vortex is behind the plot, and a mole has infiltrated Her Majesty’s Secret Service. English mistakenly calls the double agent a vole. Priceless.
Agent Tucker (Daniel Kaluuya) assists English on the mission, and to say this character sets race relations back a few decades is being kind.
Hilarity ensues when English pursues an assassin without breaking a sweat, plays golf poorly, tries to fly a helicopter and leads agents on a chase in a wheelchair. My knee was getting blisters from slapping it.
At least every now and then, director Oliver Parker breaks away from the inanity and adds a clever touch. Riffing on rampant global sponsorship, MI-7 is now called Toshiba British Intelligence.
One of the biggest problems with Johnny English is that the James Bond films have been spoofed before and spoofed with much more comic pizzazz –– most notably the “Austin Powers” films. As for bungling, clueless officers of the law, Atkinson’s English is no match for Peter Sellers’ Inspector Clouseau in the “Pink Panther” movies. See those, skip this, and your brain will thank you in the morning.
“English” also wastes the talents of Rosamund Pike as a behavioral psychologist, Gillian Anderson as English’s boss and Dominic West as a fellow agent. Pike also provides a lame love interest for English. The best performances in this film are actually turned in by English’s Rolls-Royce and the cleaning lady assassin played by Pik Sen Lim.
As for the script by Hamish McColl, I’m sure it’s punctuated properly.
Even this film’s outtake is pathetic. Only a few people remained in the theater at the screening I attended –– most of the viewers couldn’t get out of there quick enough. Who could blame them? Those who stayed saw English prepare a Chinese dish as Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King” played. A more appropriate ditty would have been Pink Floyd’s “Brain Damage.”
JOHNNY ENGLISH REBORN (PG for mild action violence, rude humor, some language and brief sensuality). Starring Rowan Atkinson, Gillian Anderson, Rosamund Pike and Dominic West. 1 star out of 4.