Now, I have never seen the first Johnny English movie. And being as it was released in 2003, this sequel seems a bit out of the blue.
Did we really need a follow-up to a comedy spoof from almost ten years ago, albeit one that was a box office success?
The honest answer to this is, of course, No. We didn’t need this sequel.
The bigger question is: is it any good?
Ah, well, now we get into another territory altogether.
I’ll tell you what I thought of this movie.
I thought it was okay.
There are some very good things about it. First off, the cast is astounding. Atkinson is a fantastic actor, and is surrounded here by some equally incredible talent. Dominic West manages to hold in the swears as a fellow agent and he’s also joined by Gillian Anderson and Rosamund Pike.
Story-wise it is not actually half bad. Yes, the villain is obvious from the beginning, but it a well told and well directed tale with some very good direction and exciting action sequences.
But... there are a number of problems with it. While there are plenty of jokes in there, most of them, for me at least, didn’t quite work. I could not help but think while watching that a comedian and actor with the skill set that Atkinson possesses could probably have come up with better lines himself. And there is also the character of Johnny English himself. The writers can’t seem to decide what to make of him. He is in turn a bumbling fool who can’t see what’s going on right in front of him and a suave, capable, super-spy. Yes, you’ll say I’m overthinking it, but I’m a writer and that’s what I do.
Now, having said all that, I should point out that I watched this movie with my two boys. They both laughed like drains the whole way though and proclaimed it was brilliant, even pointing out the occasions where I laughed out loud.
So, perhaps I’m saying that cynical 40-something writers may not be the target audience of what was an admittedly fun movie, so perhaps you should bear that in mind when considering my opinion!
Johnny English: Reborn is released on DVD and Blu-Ray by Universal on 13th Februay and is available for pre-order now.