Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson), a disgraced MI7 spy, comes out of hibernation to unravel an international conspiracy to assassinate the Chinese premier. Find out more about this spy’s adventures in the review of Johnny English Reborn.
Business rating: 1.5/5 stars
Star cast: Rowan Atkinson, Daniel Kaluuya, Rosamund Pike, Gillian Anderson.
What’s Good: Rowan Atkinson’s performance; the comedy.
What’s Bad: The screenplay takes too much time to come to the point; the lengthy climax; the spoofy comedy which will put off a section of the viewers.
Verdict: Johnny English Reborn is an average fare, something that’ll reflect on its box-office fate in India.
Loo break: A couple in the first few reels.
Watch or Not?: Watch Johnny English Reborn for Rowan Atkinson’s performance.
Working Title Films’ Johnny English Reborn is a comedy about a disgraced British spy, who is brought back into action to deal with a conspiracy that threatens to kill the Chinese prime minister.
Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson), a British MI7 spy, is cooling his heels in the mountains of Tibet, receiving spiritual and physical training from Buddhist monks, when he is summoned by Pamela (Gillian Anderson), the head of MI7. Pamela wants Johnny English to go on an investigative mission to Hong Kong. Accompanying English on the mission is Agent Tucker (Daniel Kaluuya), who promises that things happen as per MI7 protocol, especially because Johnny English is an unorthodox spy.
In Hong Kong, English uncovers a plot by a group of international assassins (one spy each from KGB, CIA and MI7) which is planning to eliminate the Chinese prime minister at an upcoming summit with the British premier. The key to stopping the conspiracy is to find the three parts of a key to a lock, which is the gateway to a secret weapon that the assassins possess. English and Tucker must employ the latest hi-tech gadgets at their disposal in order to foil the conspiracy. Is the simpleton, English, able to foil the conspiracy? What hurdles does he have to surmount to do so? The rest of the film answers these questions.
Johnny English Reborn Review – Script Analysis
First things first – fans of Rowan Atkinson (whether of his iconic Mr. Bean or the previous Johnny English film) will enjoy this movie more than the others because William Davies’ story relies mainly on the character of the bumbling but adorable spy, Johnny English, to create mirth. Otherwise, Hamish McColl’s screenplay leaves much to be desired. The plot takes too much time to come to the point, because of which a majority of the audience will start losing interest. Besides, a few sequences in the film (like the fight scene in Hong Kong) are too lengthy and boring, in spite of a spirited performance by Rowan Atkinson.
The narrative gains momentum at around half-time, when Johnny English meets the British prime minister (the scene where Johnny English lowers and raises his chair in quick succession will have the audience in splits). The jokes on James Bond (right from the spoofy title sequence) are entertaining. The dialogues are witty and enjoyable at many places.
However, the climax of the film is rather poorly-written except, perhaps, for the surprise ending. The long-drawn action sequence in the end is also boring. All in all, the script is of the kind that will appeal only to fans of Rowan Atkinson and to those who like watching spoofy comedy films.
Johnny English Reborn Review – Star Performances
Rowan Atkinson does a fine job as the secret spy. He is very good in the opening sequence when he is being trained in Tibet. Daniel Kaluuya does an average job as English’s faithful aide. Rosamund Pike, as English’s love interest, does well. Gillian Anderson, Dominic West (as Simon Ambrose) and Richard Schiff (Fisher) fill the bill.
Johnny English Reborn Review – Direction & Music
Oliver Parker’s direction is appropriate for the kind of script he is dealing with. However, Parker fails in making the comedy a laugh riot. Ilan Eshkeri’s background score goes with the mood of the film. Danny Cohen’s cinematography is good. Editing, by Guy Bensley, could have been better.
Johnny English Reborn Review – Verdict
On the whole, Johnny English Reborn is an average fare, recommended for Rowan Atkinson fans only. At best, the movie will do average business at the Indian box-office.