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Johnny English Reborn (2011)



Average Rating: 4.8/10
Reviews Counted: 87
Fresh: 34 | Rotten: 53

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.


Average Rating: 4.9/10
Critic Reviews: 18
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 12

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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Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 37,553

My Rating

Movie Info

In the years since MI7's top spy vanished off the grid, Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson) 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


Mystery & Suspense, Comedy

Hamish McColl, Neal Purvis

Feb 28, 2012


Universal Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (88) | Top Critics (18) | Fresh (34) | Rotten (53) | DVD (1)

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.

October 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Johnny English Reborn is funny enough to make you laugh and plausible enough, in an exploding-umbrella type of way, to make you care.

October 21, 2011 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Comments (3)
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

October 21, 2011 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

October 21, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Joke after joke falls painfully flat. Stay home and introduce your kids to Mr. Bean, instead.

October 21, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Comment (1)
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The humor isn't as dual-edged as, say, a Pixar comedy. But director Oliver Parker knows his genre well enough to lampoon the mainstays of the spy-flick genre, from impossibly high-tech weapons to foot chases worthy of Olympic medals.

October 20, 2011 Full Review Source: USA Today | Comment (1)
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A fun, family-friendly comedy that feels like a combination of Austin Powers and Ernest P. Worrell.

June 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Big Hollywood
Big Hollywood

This is not the highest level of comedy, or even the highest level of effort from everyone involved, but at least they get out of the way and let the man work.

June 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Deadspin

"English Reborn" isn't terrible and is certainly seriously harmless...But it does remind one of the glorious past and the potential Atkinson never realized in his movies, even the hit ones.

December 30, 2012 Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

What the film really needed was an injection of comedy that plays to Atkinson's strengths. He's a funny guy, but this material just isn't worthy of him.

September 19, 2012 Full Review Source:

Austin Powers, this is not, and I suppose that's what most people would have been expecting when they saw it.

March 19, 2012 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

It's really the directing in this film that really fouls it all up.

January 4, 2012 Full Review Source: Ebert Presents At The Movies

With a nod to Mr. Bean, Johnny English Reborn delivers comedy in any language.

November 4, 2011 Full Review Source:

If you like Rowan Atkinson you will like the movie; if you don't then you won't. I am in the anti-Atkinson camp.

October 25, 2011 Full Review Source:

It does contain almost enough laughs to make it worth the ticket price. Falling a tad short, I would suggest adding it to the Netflix queue instead.

October 22, 2011 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

The under-12s in the theater seemed to enjoy it immensely.

October 22, 2011 Full Review Source: Three Movie Buffs
Three Movie Buffs

He's priceless, no matter how many Mr. Bean episodes he's made.

October 22, 2011 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

To be fair, it's a shade better than the dreary movie that preceded it.

October 21, 2011 Full Review Source: KC Active
KC Active

Other than being family-friendly, Johnny English Reborn has only a handful of chuckles to recommend it.

October 21, 2011 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

Reborn is more of a spiritual title. Everything else in this silly but draggy comedy is pure rehash.

October 21, 2011 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

While I wouldn't recommend paying full admission price, you could do worse flipping past it on a rainy Saturday afternoon at home while looking for family entertainment. (Movie Review for Parents also available)

October 21, 2011 Full Review Source: Screen It!
Screen It!

Just a reasonably steady stream of closed-mouth chuckles over comic incidents designed for that laziest little compartment of your brain.

October 21, 2011 Full Review Source:

Especially considering the meandering storylines of today's uninspired remakes and sequels, this movie is keenly focused on what it's trying to do.

October 21, 2011 Full Review Source:

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
August 8, 2013
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

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.
July 2, 2013
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

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).
January 8, 2013
paul sandberg

Super Reviewer

After years of waiting for a Johnny English sequel, and years of disappointment, "Reborn" finally came along. The atmosphere was right, the ideas spot on, but unfortunately the years of waiting disappointment were carried over to create a disappointing film.

Whilst the first Johnny English delivered all the goods for what it was selling itself as, and a little bit more, "Reborn" didn't deliver. Based around ten years after the events of Johnny English, English, played by Rowan Atkinson, is once more re-recruited into the service to explore covers up across the globe.

Rowan Atkinson reprises his role as the spy in a, like the film, disappointing fashion. His performance as English in the first film was thoroughly impressive and entertaining to almost all cinema goers, however this time he has delivered a performance which does not live up to his comic standards.

Another notable loss in the cast is that of Ben Miller as his sidekick. Whilst Daniel Kaluuya performs the task of sidekick spy admirably, his character is not portrayed as being better and more sensible than his commanding officer. This hurts the film, as Miller's former character, Boff, formed a light but very funny part of the storyline and character's relationships in the original film.

Dominic West doesn't stretch himself too far with his character, but with appearances from both Gillian Anderson and Richard Schiff the film has a decent cast. English's love interest Kate, played by Rosamund Pike, is a decent performance, but an unnecessary one. Being old enough to be her father, we sense that English and Kate's character relationship is really just a bit too silly and forced through by executive producers who thought the film needed it, when it really, really didn't.

But the main focus of English "2" has to be the screenplay, which overall let the franchise down. The original was full of gags, but also had a decent underlining story and general humorous feel throughout. The sequel is just gags. And when its just gags, films don't work, unless the gags are good.

In the case of "Reborn", they're not. Of course there are funny moments, and moments when the audience can see a glimpse of what was done with the original, but overall, despite decent acting and generally good direction, "Reborn" fails to live up to its predecessor and disappoints as a comedy.
April 29, 2012
Adam Kelly

Super Reviewer

    1. Johnny English: Pegasus, we have another lead! Vortex was in Mozambique. They were responsible for the death of President Chambal.
    2. Pamela Thornton: No! You were responsible for the death of President Chambal.
    – Submitted by Criselle M (13 months ago)
    1. Pamela: You lose our only lead on Vortex, humiliate me in front of the Foreign Secretary, and try to kill my mother.
    2. Pegasus' Mother: Twice!
    – Submitted by Criselle M (13 months ago)
    1. Johnny English: Come off it, Fisher. You, a paid assasin? You couldn't even hit a barn door with a banana.
    – Submitted by Criselle M (13 months ago)
    1. Prime Minister: Not in the same league as the first film and no Bough. These two had great chemestry.
    – Submitted by Mike F (15 months ago)
    1. Agent Tucker: Sir, I don't think he's a Susan
    2. Johnny English: Well your not a linguist Tucker, are you? It's pronounced Shu-Shang, from the Zingzhou region I presume.
    – Submitted by Nafeem R (2 years ago)
    1. Johnny English: It can't be!
    – Submitted by Austin G (2 years ago)
View all quotes (20)

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Foreign Titles

  • Johnny English - Jetzt erst recht (DE)
  • Johnny English, le retour (FR)
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