Johnny English Reborn 2011 Movie Scene Rowan Atkinson as Johnny English on top of a building

Johnny English Reborn [2011]

Sometimes you have to do some shit to get that money. It’s just how the world works and we’ve all been there. Still, it was really hard for me to watch Rowan Atkinson in this movie. It’s so clearly and blatantly a cash grab that there are simply no excuses. Johnny English Reborn is a stereotypical action comedy that’s just entertaining enough to warrant a viewing. This is actually a stand-alone sequel to the 2003 hit Johnny English about the adventures of the clumsy James Bond. So, basically, this is a parody of all those spy movies with a special Rowan Atkinson twist.

It feels they churned out a barely mediocre script, pulled together some financing, and told Rowan now make this work. Although since the budget was $45 million, I think they knew this was going to work. And it did as the movie made more than $160 million. People love movies like this they can watch with their family without any worries that something nasty is going to happen. We’ve known that since Peter Sellers took the world by force with his Inspector Clouseau in the megahit The Pink Panther. Over the years, we’ve had many similar movies but more about that towards the end.

Johnny English Reborn features an excellent all-star cast. It was a true pleasure to see Tim McInnerny (Black Adder) again, not to mention Dominic West (The Wire) and Gillian Anderson (The X-Files). I also liked young Daniel Kaluuya’s performance. We can expect great things from him in the future. So, after being shitcanned from the MI-7, Johnny English is now recuperating in Tibet. However, a new threat is going to force him to come out of his retirement. Somebody wants to kill the president of China and there’s only one person who can stop him (or her).

Prone to accidents but very charming and seductive, English will have to find the would-be assassins without blowing up the world in the process. There were exactly three scenes in this movie that made me laugh out loud. The ones with the old Chinese women, the wheelchair race, and the babbling were hilarious. Additionally, Rowan has such screen presence that he doesn’t have to do anything to illicit a smile from the viewer. I guess my biggest problem with this movie was the fact that I was expecting a lot from it. So, just lower your expectations a bit and it might just surprise you with its quality.

Johnny English Reborn is definitely a movie worth watching. It’s got that big movie vibe and an energetic and positive atmosphere. All the technical stuff is solid along with the performances. And you can also expect all the usual Bond gadgets. The car Johnny drives is a V16 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe, specifically made for this movie. Actually, since Rowan loves cars in real life and has enough sway to do shit like this, he told the engineers at BMW to put the V16 engine from the V12 Phantom Limo into their 100EX coupe prototype.

The script is stereotypical and uninspired but it still works. Especially if you’re looking for a breezy and forgettable spy action comedy. If you’re, however, looking for something a bit more memorable and edge, I have to recommend you MacGruber.

Director: Oliver Parker

Writers: Hamish McColl, William Davies, Neal Purvis

Cast: Rowan Atkinson, Eric Carte, Gillian Anderson, Tim McInnerny, Dominic West

Fun Facts: During the wheelchair chase, Rowan steals a helmet from a young and pretty girl. That girl is actually his daughter, Lily Atkinson.


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