‘Johnny English Reborn’ only suitable for youngsters

— Samantha Coombes contributed with this report.

The return of the accident-prone and hopeless MI7 agent sees the talented Rowan Atkinson take on his popular role as Johnny English for a second time, but the film fails for him dramatically.


Johnny English and Agent Tucker work side by side in another attempt to save the world. Photo: Abundant

It was always going to be difficult to live up to the hilarious buckle-breaking reputation of the 2003 original, but Oliver Parker’s direction left the film with a flimsy plot and weak comedy which only had the little members of the audience laughing uncontrollably.

This 007 spoof starts with English in a Tibetan monastery after being fired from MI7 for a mishap in Mozambique. He is soon sent back after they learn that an assassination will take place at a Chinese premiere and English is the only agent needed for the job.

The film then continues in the usual form of English making a fool of himself, dragging a rock along the ground with his private parts in the Tibetan monastery and pretending he is holding a cat when in fact he pushed it out the window.

It’s not the effortless tomfoolery that worked so well for the 2003 original. A lot of the comedic ideas are undeveloped, such as a voice controlled Rolls Royce and English’s rock hard man parts. Both are only made use of once in the entire film, leaving you wishing they’d done more.

English is then let down by the rest of his fellow cast with his side-kick, Agent Tucker (Daniel Kaluuya), attempting a poor imitation of English’s original side-kick Bough, played by Ben Miller. The film also missed the evil delights of John Malcovich’s greedy Frenchman, Pascal Sauvage. Instead you’re left with flimsy performances from Dominic West, who play’s English’s idol Simon Ambrose, along with other characters which stray away from a strong malicious villain antagonist.

The return of Johnny English in Reborn seems to not show any signs of a decent 007 spoof reboot and it seems the only thing keeping the movie afloat is the rubber-faced, slapstick comedy of Atkinson, who seems to be the only one attempting to keep a smile on your face.

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