Johnny English is back with another James Bond-esque spoof. Filled with more slapstick humour and tongue-in-cheek action, there’s something for the whole family to enjoy.
Not only will Johnny English: Reborn make you laugh out loud, it will make you coil up in cringe-inducing horror, sigh at the predictability of the plot. Ultimately however, and quite unbelievably, the film will leave you with the most cheerful, euphoric, slightly manic, smile you’ve had since you departed the screening of Johnny’s last outing in 2003.
Since we last saw him, things haven’t gone too well for him, (did they ever?). He’s been kicked out of the fictitious MI7 and (perhaps taking a leaf out of Batman’s book) is living in an Asian mountain, learning martial arts and meditation – queue lots of laughs . Inevitably, he gets called back to the secret service to help them with a case which is the basis of the two hours of hilarity and horror that follow.
Mr Bean, or rather Rowan Atkinson, is fantastic as the idiotic English secret agent, and though playing a role that is far from likely to win him an Oscar, he shows exactly why he has become one of the most respected British comedy actors of the last 50 years: an amazingly rubbery face, peerless physical comedy and great timing. These qualities make this sequel what it is. Another gem of this film is Daniel Kaluuya, replacing Ben Miller as Johnny’s sidekick, who does a fantastic job of being the calming and sane influence to Johnny’s manic insanity.
The first 20 minutes of the film are very obviously a spoof of the opening sequence of Casino Royale, with a comical street jumper scene and bright and beautiful casinos. Director Oliver Parker, who is best known for his very classically English dramas such as The Importance of Being Earnest and Dorian Gray, as well as comedies such as St Trinians 1 and 2, once again does what he does best by celebrating all that is England and Englishness. After all imitation is the greatest form of flattery and Bond is England personified.
This film may not please everyone, if slapstick and exaggerated comedy isn’t your thing then avoid this like the plague, if you do like the simple pleasures of buffoonery however, then you will undoubtedly love the heart, familiarity and laughter this film has to offer, and it will be you dragging the kids back to the cinema for more.