Movie review – Johnny Englis Reborn

2011-10-14 12:22

Tat Wolfen

Movie: Johnny English Reborn
Director: Oliver Parker
Cast: Rowan Atkinson, Rosamund Pike and Gillian Anderson
Rating: 6/10

There are perhaps two things I need to tell you upfront. The first is that a handful of local movie reviewers weren’t overly fond of the sequel to Johnny English. The second is that I couldn’t give a jot. I had a whole bunch of fun watching this film.

For those who didn’t see the first movie, Johnny English is simply a send-up of the James Bond franchise. There’s no continuity between the original film and this one, so you could always experience Johnny English Reborn at the cinemas and, if you enjoy it, hire its predecessor on DVD.

Our story begins – naturally – with a vital mission. Johnny English is assigned to the task, but he isn’t around because his last job was apparently such an embarrassing mess that he’d exiled himself to the Far East (to train among a community of Shaolin monk-type characters).

If you’ve ever watched a martial arts movie, you’ll probably have a hearty chuckle at these scenes, in which cliché after cliché is given a thorough going-over.

Although his training isn’t quite complete when his assignment comes through, Johnny must attend to the call of duty.
He sets off to defeat a gang of ruthless global hitmen whose sights are set on the leader of China. (President Jacob Zuma may suffer undue anxiety during these bits).

Rowan Atkinson, who is better known to audiences as Mr Bean, draws on Bean’s clumsiness, but blends in some slick touches – and even a hint of romance – that are more suited to Johnny English’s persona.

Even though many of Atkinson’s sight gags are utterly predictable, his talent is such that the expectation becomes part of the journey.

Johnny English Reborn is an inventive, frequently laugh-out-loud action comedy that happily fits the bill for an evening of undemanding entertainment.

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