Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Johnny English Reborn [2011]

Director: Oliver Parker
Cast: Rowan Atkinson, Gillian Anderson, Daniel Kaluuya, Rosamund Pike, Dominic West
Genre: Comedy/Thriller
Rating: General
Comment: "If you're making a sequel to a lukewarmly-received movie, you better have a damn good reason. Luckily, this movie has one..."


Despite being a celebrated agent of MI-7, Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson) is not without his list of screw-ups. After a job went wrong in Mozambique, English goes into exile and spends his days at a secluded monastery in Asia doing some soul-searching as well as honing some new-found skills. Meanwhile, the MI-7 superiors learn of a new threat that will disrupt world peace, forcing them to recommission Johnny English, bringing him back into action.

What to Expect
1. Rowan Atkinson's impeccable timing
2. Also, his brand of comedy
3. Equal mix of thriller and physical comedy
4. All the same, a lighthearted popcorn flick
5. Beautiful MILFs

What NOT to Expect
1. To be as forgettable as the first
2. Laugh-out-loud comedy

Like so many others out there, I was taken by surprise when they began showing the trailer for this Johnny English sequel. Naturally my first thought was, "Didn't they already do what they needed to do the first time around? Is there really a need for a sequel?". Then my thoughts wandered to Rowan Atkinson's most iconic character, whom also had a sequel after a long absence. Of course, the movie was Mr. Bean's Holiday [2007] and we all know how that turned out.

Neither Mr. Bean or Johnny English were bad - both were box-office hits, mind you - they're just a little out of place after the world is now accustomed to that Sacha Baron Cohen's Borat type of physical comedy. It's like Rowan Atkinson's old school flavour of comedy didn't make the transition all too well.

So where does that leave Johnny English Reborn? Well, good news. I must say I found it to be entertaining and not at all a bad way to pass the time. However, you should also note that Mr. Bean was one of the things I grew up watching, so nostalgia might have been a contributing factor to me liking this movie. All he had to do was stare wide-eyed at the camera (like he did for the movie poster) and I'd have to purse my lips to refrain myself from grinning stupidly.

But I have a feeling that non-Mr. Bean fans will enjoy this movie as well, because they didn't make the same mistakes its predecessor did. You see, while Johnny English [2003] seemingly wrote the story around the title character's gags and hijinks, the sequel did just the opposite by having a good story and throw a little bit of humour here and there.

In other words, I felt like none of the scenes in the movie were redundant. You won't see Johnny English being a goofball just for the sake of being a goofball. So even the feel of the movie was different, no longer it appeared like it was just a speaking version of Mr. Bean, who was thrown in a different environment. No sir. Now it feels like a proper spoof of the Spy/Thriller genre, the same way the Get Smart franchise was.

So yeah, it may not be a laugh-out-loud kind of comedy, but there's a healthy dose of things to giggle about.

Should you go see it?
Now, this is a movie that you can afford to miss. But should you decide to go see it, know that this is a lighthearted popcorn flick, and you should leave your intellect at the door. While I don't do that as a general rule, I have a feeling of nostalgia for Rowan Atkinson, so it made it easy for me to just sit back and not have a frown on my face from overanalysing, like I always do with practically every movie out there.

Therefore, I got exactly what the movie wanted to sell; a spoof of the Spy/Thriller genre with an interesting story, and plenty of things to giggle about.


Isaac Tan said...

nice writeup bro. For me, I liked the movie coz it's a no frills, no logic simple movie for a simple dude like me :)

Mamü Miguel Ellezda Vies said...

Indeed. Any particular director or actor that you like?

Mr Lonely said...

it is very funny lor ~~ haha~

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