Review: Johnny English Reborn

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Johnny English Reborn as you can guess is the second outing from Rowan Atkinson as the title character. But it has come about 7 years too late?

Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson) is re-recruit by Her Majesty’s Secret Service on a mission to hunt down a group of assassins who are plotting to kill political figures. Given his close involvement in one assassination attempt, he is the closest thing they have to unraveling this mystery.

Johnny English is an incompetent agent.  Thus most of the humor revolves around such gags, using the wrong weapon etc. It is hard deciding whether the humor is outdated or just fairly weak. It does feel quite try hard in certain gags such as a building chase, in which Johnny English leisurely pursues a parkour flipping villain, Atkinson seemingly having the fluidity of movement of an elderly person being able to catch him. It is heavily reliant on Atkinson’s “unique” type of visual humor but a comedian using the same type of jokes years down the line is just an unfortunate thing.

English’s sidekick agent Tucker (Daniel Kaluuya) is the secret agent who actually still lives with his mother in a council flat. The character archetype which has been played over so many times, and is the go to “comedy” set up for lazy writers. Essentially he is the straight edge to the double act.

The were a few laughs to be had at some stupidity moments of which the humor didn’t feel forced. But Johnny English comes at an odd time having no relevancy and is mostly just a rehash of old humor. Sometimes even a rehash of it’s own jokes, using an old lady assassin gag three times. This compounded with the weak plot just ultimately leads to a fairly dissatisfying film.

I can’t imagine this film being much a stretch from the original, so if you’re a fan go see it. Otherwise stay in, grab a box set of Blackadder and remember the comedic brilliance Atkinson is actually capable of.

Rating: 1.5/5

Reviewer: Dexter Kong
: PG (UK)
Release Date
:7th October, 2011 (UK)
: Oliver Parker
: Rowan Atkinson, Dominic West, Gillian Anderson, Rosamund Pike, Daniel Kaluuya