After a cyber-attack reveals the identity of all of the active undercover agents in Britain, Johnny English is forced to come out of retirement to find the mastermind hacker. (IMDb)
Atkinson’s continued comedic charm (great on its own–see his virtual mission–but excellent when paired with Bough’s straight man) keeps this thing afloat like a shoebox inflatable on a sea of forgettable and poor plotting (the climax is particularly eye-rolling), an atrocious villain (atrocious as in bad bad not good bad–his name is VOLTA for Zuckerberg’s sakes), and a cringe-y old school ways vs. new school tech motif (though the harkening back to super old school armour at the end was fun).
The bumbling Mr. Bean travels to America when he is given the responsibility of bringing a highly valuable painting to a Los Angeles museum. (IMDb)
A masterclass in comedic acting; it says something when almost the entire movie is made up of those laugh-out-loud scenes you’d recall to your friends later–and every one was thanks to Atkinson’s bumbling (yet oddly brilliant) Bean. He rarely even needs a straight guy to play off of (though the world of serious art criticism here provides many good ones). Bean’s outrageous slapstick and hilarious yet heartwarming naivety (see his final speech; newly learned hand gesture) had me in stitches.
Johnny English goes up against international assassins hunting down the Chinese premier. (IMDb)
Has a few good sequences (see the clever spoof of the classic rooftop chase, pointless helicopter hijack, awkwardly delayed bathroom confrontation) but also some cringe-worthy ones (see the opening Tibet training montage, life-saving kiss). Most of the rest is in between: a mediocre spy plot (who was this murderous lady who kept showing up?) slathered with slight-chuckle-worthy slapstick and dramatic irony along the lines of the first film, just with a little less luster this time around.
After a sudden attack on the MI5, Johnny English, Britain’s most confident yet unintelligent spy, becomes Britain’s only spy. (IMDb)
I suppose the comedy’s not for everyone, but the “supremely confident yet inescapably incompetent schtick” of Atkinson’s titular character, while basically the entire film, never failed to make me laugh (a couple small highlights: his failed coat-throw, botched final romantic gesture), and his chemistry with long-suffering straight man Bough is delightful. The ridiculous plot, of course, leaves things to be desired (Sauvage’s sudden burst of anger provides a much too convenient resolve).
A Las Vegas casino magnate, determined to find a new avenue for wagering, sets up a race for money. (IMDb)
Its over-the-top plot contrivance-driven brand of comedy isn’t particularly clever or subtle, of course, but so help me, some dud bits aside, I still laughed quite a bit (the Jewish Pear family in Hitler’s car, Enrico and Zack delivering the human heart, and Owen with the bus full of Lucys were standout storylines) and Sinclair and his buds’ ridiculous bets were a fun side-gag. The misguided attempt at a heartwarming ending sticks out like a sore thumb though (Smash Mouth+crowd surfing=eyeroll).