Rowan Atkinson steps back into the shoes of bumbling spy Johnny English once again. If you enjoy the old Bean’s antics then you’ll no doubt enjoy this sequel. Others may not be so amused.
Cross out the “Sir” because Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson) has been stripped of his knighthood and position in MI7 after a failed mission in Mozambique. Don’t mention it to him or he will twitch at those terrible memories. He’s gone to the mountains of Tibet to find himself after such colossal failure. Duty does call again and English is called to rejoin MI7.
He reports to his boss Pegasus (Gillian Anderson) but finds the agency changed, now called Toshiba British Intelligence with the slogan “spying… for you “ and with a behavioral psychologist, Kate Sumner (Rosamund Pike), on staff. He does find old friends Simon Ambrose (Dominic West) aka Agent One, gadget inventor Patch Quartermain (Tim McInnerny), and is assigned green recruit Tucker (Daniel Kaluuya) to serve as his aide.
It seems a sinister organization called Vortex is up to no good and the only one who knows how to find them is ex-CIA agent Fischer (Richard Schiff) and he’ll only deal with English. Of course, things don’t go as exactly as planned with Johnny English on the case.
Johnny English is back. I imagine critics weren’t kind to him the first time around but the successful international box office beckoned to the old Bean. This latest outing is probably not going to win any new fans but if Rowan is willing we may see a third outing for the bumbling Brit spy since it was financially successful again. Critically, maybe not so much.
I come down on the side of it made me laugh – so there. Sure, the plot seems like a retread of the first film to a degree but if you enjoy Rowan’s shtick then there are some fun bits. I especially liked the way the elder English uses his noggin to outwit a younger, faster adversary, there’s a lethal cleaning lady that dogs English’s steps, and he’s always goofing up to hilarious results.
Not that he’s aware of this since he thinks that he is the equivalent of Bond, James Bond. Of course, everybody but Johnny knows that he’s a bumbler but they do seem to like him enough to overlook this character flaw. His bumbling usually does get the job done… except in Mozambique (twitch, twitch). It’s a fun outing, but if you’re not a fan of Atkinson or Bean then you best go rent Austin Powers.
Johnny English Reborn is presented in a 1080p high definition transfer (2.40:1). Special features, all presented in high definition, include a commentary from director Oliver Parker and writer Hamish McColl, 40 minutes of deleted and extended scenes with introductions from Parker, the 25 minute “English Files” making of, 4 minutes of cast mates recalling “Working with Rowan,” the 5 minute “English in Hong Kong” about the location shoot, 5 minutes on the “Wheelchair Chase,” 3 minutes on the “Gadgets,” and a 2 minute gag reel. Disc two offers a DVD copy and an Ultraviolent download.
If you enjoyed the first film then this one, in my humble opinion, is better than that one. Some nice location work only enhances the lovely Blu-ray transfer. Add in some expansive extras and you’ve got an English fan’s delight.
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