Johnny English Reborn (2011)
Critic Consensus: Arguably a marginal improvement on its mostly-forgotten predecessor, Johnny English Reborn nonetheless remains mired in broad, tired spy spoofing that wastes Rowan Atkinson's once considerable comedic talent.
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|Rating:||PG (for mild action violence, rude humor, some language and brief sensuality)|
|Genre:||Mystery & Suspense, Comedy|
|Directed By:||Oliver Parker|
|Written By:||William Davies, Hamish McColl, Neal Purvis|
|In Theaters:||Oct 21, 2011 Wide|
|On DVD:||Feb 28, 2012|
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as Johnny English
as Pamela Thornton/"Peg...
as Special Agent Simon ...
as Kate Sumner
as Ting Wang
as Xiang Ping
as President Chambal
as The Killer Cleaner
as Pegasus' Mother
as Prime Minister
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Critic Reviews for Johnny English Reborn
Atkinson revives the comic secret agent that he first introduced in a series of TV ads in the UK, but this thin script gives him nothing remotely like a rebirth.
Johnny English Reborn is funny enough to make you laugh and plausible enough, in an exploding-umbrella type of way, to make you care.
At gunpoint I might confess to smiling when English pummeled the Queen of England with a tea tray, but the babysitters for the target audience will know that his best bits are burgled from Austin Powers.
It would seem to appeal mostly to hard-core fans of the "Mr. Bean'' star and children who laugh at the sight of men being repeatedly kicked in the groin.
Joke after joke falls painfully flat. Stay home and introduce your kids to Mr. Bean, instead.
Audience Reviews for Johnny English Reborn
Britain's beloved spy is back in Oliver Parker's new spy adventure 'Johnny English Reborn'. Needless to say, the film spoofs the spy action thriller genre (the first titles that pop in mind are those James Bond flicks) and does an excellent job in doing so. And of course, Atkinson is playing the lead so one can expect at least some laugh out loud moments (and there are many of them). The script is funny and the amusing action sequences are remarkably shot. The title role was obviously written for Rowan Atkinson and he performs all guns blazing, tickling you to the bone. Very few can pull off slapstick as well as he does. He is accompanied by two smoking hot beauties, Gillian Anderson (who does a very impressive fake British accent as she stresses and stretches each word) and Rosamund Pike (as a professional behavioral therapist who inadvertently happens to know hypnotherapy). Dominic West does a good evil villain.
With a solid balance of story, dialogue, action and humor, 'Johnny English Reborn' is a terrific sequel. One doesn't have to have watched the first film to fully enjoy this one. I was enjoying it so much that I found myself wanting more when it finished. 3 1/2 stars 7-19-13
A little intelligence goes a long way.
Saw it again! Good movie! I had a nice time seeing it. Rowan Atkinson's performance was, of course, brilliant. All the other actors also acted great, and I have nothing against this funny, great comedy. Don't watch this film expecting serious stuff. It does what it has to do by making you laugh, and it does that well. Its story might be 'meh' for a lot of people, but it's much better than the story of the first one. Also, the humour is gold and people should like this because of that.
Rowan Atkinson returns to the role of the accidental secret agent who doesn't know fear or danger in the comedy spy-thriller Johnny English Reborn. In his latest adventure, the most unlikely intelligence officer in Her Majesty's Secret Service must stop a group of international assassins before they eliminate a world leader and cause global chaos. In the years since MI-7's top spy vanished off the grid, he has been honing his unique skills in a remote region of Asia. But when his agency superiors learn of an attempt against the Chinese premier's life, they must hunt down the highly unorthodox agent. Now that the world needs him once again, Johnny English is back in action. With one shot at redemption, he must employ the latest in hi-tech gadgets to unravel a web of conspiracy that runs throughout the KGB, CIA and even MI-7. With mere days until a heads of state conference, one man must use every trick in his playbook to protect us all. For Johnny English, disaster may be an option, but failure never is.
Let's see if I'm following this all correctly - Johnny English Reborn is a sequel to a spy spoof wherein the antithesis of James Bond makes fun of everything Bond (much as the later Roger Moore films did unintentionally...).
There are some chuckles to be had here and I guess the film should get marks for never taking itself too seriously; but even the chuckles come from worn sight gags and a sense for the absurd that never gives the screenplay any hope of being anything but an elongated skit.
The film starts well enough as we hear that some spy who came in from the cold wants to give some very important info to MI7, but insists on only talking to Johnny English who was fired from the spy corp for bungling some mission or other. We then see Johnny in China, doing a laughable Kung Fu sequence as he learns the deep mystic ways. OK, so he's in the orient... and then he's called back into service so he returns to England so he can.... Wait for it... meet with the aforementioned spy in ..... yep, China. Yikes. Way to rack up those frequent flier miles!
It's this kind of lazy writing that truly derails the film; but if you just take this all at face value and say - yeah, ok, make me laugh a little - then the film will work on some remote, juvenile, don't think too hard, level.
Of course this is meant as a farce, but usually in even a farce there is a hidden level of either dark comedy or a poking at the mores and values of the time - I suppose that in the broad sense the mere spoofing of the beloved spy genre could be construed as such, but really, that's a pretty broad assumption. In actuality what you have here is a good natured G rated film that really doesn't offend anyone and has one or two truly laughable moments (as when the "cleaner" assassin takes to the golf course, with her bag turning into a large caliber machine gun).
I suppose that I should not have tread here in the first place, as I didn't much care for Rowan Atkinson's other works (sorry there Mr. Bean), but somehow I had a vague recollection of the first film and since I was in the mood for something whipped cream light and sorta funny... well it was just as advertised... not awful but certainly not worth delving into further (like the misplaced "buddy" aspect, or the "you can't be serious" G rated love interest that the film throws in for apparent good measure).
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