Monday, April 30, 2012

Rowan Atkinson is Awesome in Johnny English Reborn


It’s been eight years since Rowan Atkinson played the role of Johnny English back in 2003. In 2011, he returned with the sequel, “Johnny English Reborn,” a hilarious spoof of the James Bond movies. Atkinson is a British actor who is probably best known in America as “Mr. Bean.” He also played a priest in “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and was the voice of Zazu in “The Lion King.”

“Reborn” pretty much came and went in U.S. theatre which is sad, because this is a very funny, very clean and very “safe” movie for families. This movie is also better than the movie that preceded it. However it’s a wonder why it took so long for the sequel to come out.

English is an officer in Her Majesty’s Secret Service who has been recruited to stop a group of international assassins before they eliminate a world leader and cause global chaos. Since the first movie, English has been in hiding in Asia receiving training that he so desperately needed. The film opens with scenes of his training that is played straight, but is very funny.

Now back in M17’s London headquarters (rebranded as Toshiba British Intelligence), he has a new shot at redemption. His new boss is Pegasus (Gillian Anderson, “X-Files”) and is assigned a junior agent to accompany him, Colin Tucker (Daniel Kaluuya). He also has to report to Kate Sumner (Rosamund Pike), M17’s behavioral psychologist.

As any good spy movie, English is given a number of hi-tech gadgets to help figure out a conspiracy that has a thread running from the KGB, CIA and even M17. The Johnny English website states that “disaster may be an option, but failure never is.”

Johnny English’s character is similar to Peter Seller’s Inspector Clouseau in the “Pink Panther” movies, but he has his own personality. Like Clouseau, he is less brilliant than he thinks he is, but somehow always manages to land on top.

It appears that the makers of “Reborn” went to great lengths to keep the content clean and family friendly. There is little if any swearing, no sex and the violence is like the kind you would find in a Three Stooges short. The film also doesn’t overstay its’ welcome, by winding down the story just before the film could go overboard. It’s not for everyone, but if you are a spy movie fan or a fan who likes movies that make fun of spy movies, this is for you.

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