For anyone who grew up watching Rowan Atkinson on television as Mr Bean will know how laughing at his stupidity was in itself laughing at how ridiculous it is laughing at such ridiculousness. Johnny English is no different. For the most part, Jonny English isn’t funny. It is however outright hilarious at how ridiculous it is. And it’s that exact line of humour Johnny English Strikes Again manages to hone in on and tickle your funny bone taking you back to those fond memories of laughing at Mr Bean.
There has been a cyber-attack on the United Kingdom and every single one of its agents has had their identity discovered. With some quick thinking, the Prime Minister (Emma Thompson) demands to bring back retired agents to help find the culprit of the cyber-attacks.
In comes teacher and retired secret agent Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson). A little out of practice and a great deal behind in technology, these otherwise paramount requirements tend to work to his advantage going unnoticed to the mastermind hacker.
The closer English gets to discovering the truth, the closer the UK and Europe come to being held hostage by the digital hacker. But in true English fashion, no matter how hard he tries nothing seems to work out for him. This in turn gets him even closer than he should had he have been good at his job.
While this film is by no means a cinematic masterpiece, nor does it replicate anything of its action drama counterpart James Bond. Johnny English Strikes Again taps into humour children love making it contagious to the adults. It’s that classic humour where you know exactly what’s going to happen you just want to see how he’s going to react to it.
It’s hard not to see Rowan Atkinson as anything but Mr Bean and Johnny English doesn’t change that. His hand gestures, mannerisms and particular looks he gives oozes his classic character. There are even gags used from the Mr Bean series in Johnny English. That’s not to say this humour doesn’t work. It’s just enough of a difference to see Mr Bean and quickly forget that trigger.
Atkinson brings his stellar ability to put himself of the line for comedy. From his non-stop dancing that will have you in stitches to his comedic take on the final chase to save the day. He brings a style of comedy not seen for some time and you can tell it’s appreciated as the cinema givies in to their inner child.
Emma Thompson (Harry Potter, Love Actually, Stranger Than Fiction) plays the British Prime Minister and gives the roll a funny yet horribly desperate persona. Thompson breaks from her normal dramatic roles and gives a high energy performance with great delivery and complete sass.
As with any secret agent films, it wouldn’t be the same unless you had a female love interest to distract the agent from his duties. Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace, The Water Diviner, The Death of Stalin) fills this position. You’d be excused if you thought she looked familiar and perhaps had played a spy before. Kurylenko was alongside Daniel Craig in the Quantum of Solace as the Bond Girl. Though she manages to dumb her character down for Johnny English she still fit the character well.
Overall Johnny English will have you giggling out loud. Not because of how the comedic writing or delivery is second to none. But because it’s simple humour that will let you laugh at how ridiculous it is. It’s about welcoming in technology for any age and how sometimes older generations can bridge that gap between the everyday use of technology and nothing at all. But for the most part you’ll leave the theatre with a smile on your face thinking how you’re glad it was dark inside when you couldn’t stop laughing at how stupid some of the jokes really were.
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