Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

September 24, 2011

Bean there, seen that

Filed under: Their Films — Rajeev @ 1:50 am

September 23, 2011

Cast: Rowan Atkinson, Gillian Anderson, Rosamund Pike, Dominic West

Director: Oliver Parker

In Johnny English Reborn, sequel to that forgettable James Bond parody from 2003, Rowan Atkinson reprises his role as the bumbling British super-spy. It’s been five years since he exiled himself to a monastery in Tibet, after botching up his last mission in Mozambique. When we first meet him in this new adventure, he’s busy honing his martial arts skills, which include such unorthodox exercises as holding back the pain from a kick in the groin, and dragging a large rock tied to his penis. But when the new MI7 chief (played by Gillian Anderson) learns of an attempt against the Chinese premier’s life, she summons English back and reinstates him in his job so he can help save queen and country again.

The film sees Atkinson fumble with secret gadgets, and repeat many of the same slapstick gags he delivered in his outings as Mr Bean. The only genuinely funny recurring joke in this film involves a mean, Asian assassin impersonating a cleaning lady who shows up repeatedly to take down our hero. It’s the film’s best joke, and culminates in a hilarious scene at the end of the film.

The rest is sporadically funny, but feels very familiar…like a scene in which English takes advantage of a mechanical wheelchair to dodge the secret service. Or one in which he can’t control the vertical function of an office chair while in a conference with the British PM. Or then the scene in which he applies lipstick and pretty much goes bonkers while under the influence of an unpronounceable drug.

If you enjoyed the previous film, perhaps this one’s for you. The suspense element in the plot is revealed and resolved too conveniently, and there’s very little in it for anyone seeking new and original humor. I’m going with two out of five for Johnny English Reborn. Expect to be smiling a lot, but don’t count on too many big laughs.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)


  1. Though everything was old class but still i enjoyed watching this movie. I dont remembr whn i last laughed so mch. Infact not only me , lot of ppl in my hall were having fun. So being everything old class still Rowan Atkinson makes you laugh.
    3.5/5 from my side.

    Comment by sunny — September 28, 2011 @ 12:18 am

  2. Mr Rajiv,

    I love your reviews because they are just perfect for me for deciding in, which movie to watch but jhonny english reborn is the one of the hilarious movie which,I have seen everything was so perfect in the movie especially his dance to word up by cameo it shall be 4/5 from my side.

    Comment by Akshay — September 29, 2011 @ 10:39 am

  3. I always felt your one of those sane critics with taste for the good quality movie, I hate to disagree, but you were off- beam in misjudging the Johnny English Reborn for a meager 2 on 5 rating, though I entered the movie theater with lots of apprehension my self (personally not a great Fan of Rowan Atkinson or the Mr. Bean series) , I was quite surprised by the slapstick twists and turn the movie had to offer and finally I came out of theater with a refreshing experience this against the Super 8 movie which you greatly recommended with overwhelming 3.5 on 5 rating which was so predictable Sci-Fi it almost turned out to be a like unintended Comical Farce.

    Comment by Bala — November 1, 2011 @ 2:27 pm

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