Cinema Review: Johnny English Reborn

about as useless as a cat-flap in an elephant house

DIR: Oliver Parker • WRI: William Davies Hamish McColl • PRO: Tim Bevan, Chris Clark, Eric Fellner • DOP: Danny Cohen • ED: Guy Bensley • DES: Jim Clay • CAST: Rowan Atkinson, Rosamund Pike, Dominic West, Gillian Anderson

Over the course of this movie, four different men get kicked in the groin. If genital punishment occurring en masse is your idea of a good time, then this may be the movie for you. But if, on the other hand, you happen to have an IQ above that of an average ball-point pen, then may be not.

Following on from the events of the insanely popular first instalment, Johnny English Reborn finds Rowan Atkinson in a self-imposed exile after a failed mission in Mozambique. However, MI7 need him back after they discover someone is trying to kill the Chinese Premier. His new boss (Gillian Anderson) introduces him to his new partner (Daniel Kaluuya), his new love interest (previous Bond girl Rosamund Pike) and then just like that, English is being suited up, gadgeted out and driving around in the new Aston Martin Rolls Royce, in sexy new locations (Hong Kong, the French Alps) to stop this new assassination attempt.

Credit must be given to Atkinson for being just as adept at the physical comedy now as he was fifteen years ago when the commercials this series is based on were being aired, and the rest of the cast, particularly The Wire’s Dominic West, are all game for a laugh. But the laughs never seem to arrive, unless you find lowest common denominators like beating up old ladies hilarious. When placed next to this, the Austin Powers movies seem like the height of intellectualism. If you’re dying to see a new entry in a moribund spy-spoofing franchise, you’d best wait for Dr Evil and co’s return next year.

Rory Cashin

Rated PG (see IFCO website for details)

Johnny English Reborn is released on 7th October 2011

Johnny English Reborn – Official Website

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-kinERhAGY

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