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Some Laughs to be had,
This review is from: Johnny English Reborn [DVD] (DVD)
Johnny English is a goofball comedy with very little wit or subtlety yet it still manages to entertain and raise a few giggles along the way. Rowan Atkinson has been trying to elevate this Barclay Card advert character for years now with middling results. Whilst it is never clever or laugh out loud funny, it is harmless and mildly entertaining.
The story is basic at best and is just really there to cram in as many familiar spy tropes (read James Bond clichés) as possible to poke a little fun at. The hit rate of the jokes is low but when they do hit the right mark there are laughs to be had. In particular the scene where Johnny is chasing down a bad guy on foot and recalls his years of training in the Tibetan mountains to outwit his foe. Also a car chase with Johnny using an motorised wheelchair is so ridiculous and poorly conceived that it ends in the so bad it's good category. That pretty much sums up most of this film, so bad it's good. The characters are paper thin and clichéd, the plot almost non-existent and the less said about agent Tucker the better. However it is just an amusing couple of hours. It pelts along at a reasonable rate so that by the time you feel you have had enough it's all over.
Rowan Atkinson plays it in much the same way as his other famous creation except with the power of words, but his contorting and manic facial expressions still wring out a few sly smiles.
But it is time to leave it be. The first film was a good gentle laugh and this sequel just about keeps its head above water, but another outing will surely sink it. Austin Powers succeeded in parodying the entire spy genre. Wringing James Bond for laughs can only go so far and the time has come for Johnny English to hand back his licence to kill before he kills his career completely.
Fun for a while but ultimately hollow.