With an eight year gap since the original Johnny English was released, you could be forgiven for wondering if there would ever be a sequel or if the film would be left to flounder in the Bargain Bucket of Blockbuster stores up and down the UK for the rest of eternity on its own.
Fear not! Enter Johnny English Reborn, and with a new director in Oliver Parks – whose credits include St. Trinians 1 and 2- things have been shaken up somewhat and, with my girlfriend and I wondering how to spend a lovely Saturday afternoon in Harlow, Essex, nothing seemed more appealing than to give Johnny English Reborn the once over.
To my surprise and minor annoyance the cinema was absolutely stacked. Before we knew it we were surrounded by children, aged no more than 11 years old. I may sound grumpy here, but for me this is not the ideal surrounding to watch a film. However, to Johnny English Reborn’s credit the film kept me far and away entertained enough not to become agitated, and in a way the continual childish laughter made me relax into the picture and appreciate it for what it is; fun – pure and simple.
Rowan Atkinson’s performance was, as to be expected from a man of his unquestionable pedigree, exemplary. In terms of physical comedy, there really cannot be many better. His bizarre facial expressions and general malleability are constant sources of amusement. On a personal note, as a huge West Wing fan, a nice moment was to see the appearance of Richard Schiff (Toby Ziegler in the West Wing) who played Ex-CIA agent and reformed bad guy Titus Fisher – a cameo that I fear was lost on the 11 year olds around me who also recoiled and heckled during the kissing scene between Johnny and Kate (Rosamund Pike).
If you a looking for a high brow comedy with lots of intellectually stimulating gags and interweaving plot lines, then this is not for you. However, if you want to go and watch a film that requires an easier watch, but in turn gives back some good performances and tons of easy laughs, then Johnny English Reborn will be your cup of tea; don’t be afraid to give it a whirl.