Born then Reborn - after seven years Johnny English Strikes Again. First releasing around the time shagadelic spy Austin Powers was all the rage, Johnny English emerged as Mr Bean's answer to Mr Bond. The films are about as intelligent as their lead Rowan Atkinson, and the comedy is dyed in the wool, classic Brit humour. Deep in retirement as a Geography teacher Johnny English is called back out into the field when a cyber-attack exposes every active MI5 agent.
Johnny English Strikes Again is a silly spoof that brags some surprisingly inventive physical comedy. The bumbling and buffoonish spy returns for another slapstick heavy sequel that very much remains in the spirit of its predecessors. Strikes Again formulates a fair few chucklesome gags that play with this idea of an old-school agent adjusting to the new ways of the modern spy world - Atkinson's comically foolproof formula merges with some imaginative slapstick moments. The film plays like a serial of Bean sketches as oppose to a specific feature - and perhaps should have be a silent movie as the dialog is especially toe-nail curling.
Atkinson's up to the same old antics and as the title suggests Strikes Again for one final hoorah. It's not exactly mission accomplished however - with a bucket-load of stale lines and painfully predictable plotting this third outing is an enjoyable, in the moment, mood-booster rather than something you'll wish to revisit. Seeing this foolish agent beating-up baristas with freshly baked baguettes is enough to put a smile on your face - whereas overused one-liners about fake spy names less so. If you cast your mind back to recent big-screen British comedies Bridget Jones' Baby and ABFAB: The Movie - Johnny English's latest adventure definitely falls into the latter half in terms of quality and impact
For all that, the film seems to convince itself that its ultra advanced, pro-techno plot is a brand-new concept. From time to time, throw away gags about guns requiring a health and safety form and spies driving hybrids make an impact but Strikes Again does overdo it a bit. There isn't any need for Quantum of Solace's Olga Kurylenko and Carol's Jake Lacy - they're basically just there as a device to bring English back into action.
Mr Bean 2.0 returns for a fun and inoffensive family comedy, and if you're a fan of the first two adventures this feather-headed secret-agent will please you once more. Some jokes are fresh and some are not, but at the end of the day it's always a pleasure to see the comic genius Rowan Atkinson at work.
Johnny English: Strikes Again
Pinch of info
Hi I’m James - a huge welcome to my film blog! I started this site just after my 14th birthday and have been bringing you my own take on the hottest box office arrivals and many art house triumphs ever since.