Only Rowan Atkinson could make beating up an old lady unfunny. And only Rowan Atkinson could make it unfunny twice. Atkinson reprises his role as the ultra-serious, super-dumb Johnny English in “Johnny English Reborn” to bland results where he finds himself in ridiculous situation after ridiculous situation, and never really getting a good laugh.
With a couple convoluted story lines and vague spurts of spy film parodies, “Johnny English Reborn” ultimately fails. Everything in this film is a matter of convenience. For example, when accidently stumbling into the situation to use a rocket launcher umbrella, the otherwise moronic English suddenly becomes a sure shot aim and blasts his nemesis to hell. This happens throughout the film; English finds himself in any given jam and all of a sudden he wakes up fully capable of fighting or outsmarting the enemy. He has no real skill set (isn’t that necessary for a Bond-esque character?) and doesn’t necessarily have any ailments aside from being an utter dumbshit.
Sure, Rowan Atkinson can be entertaining. But, he doesn’t even try in this sequel. For any English humor fanatics (a la Monty Python) don’t get too excited as there is little to none of that brand of humor. The supporting cast does little to help out and rather turn in those lackluster exposition performances. Yet where Gillian Anderson and Dominic West glaze over on the screen, a little entertainment could be found in Rosamund Pike as Bean’s…er Johnny English’s love interest and Daniel Kaluuya as English’s assistant.
I think it was Ben Franklin who said, “Expect nothing and you’ll never be disappointed.” But then again he also said, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” For some dumb and absurd humor, go ahead and check it out, or better, go to the movie and check out.
1 hr 41 min