I’m a huge fan of the Mr. Bean television series featuring Rowan Atkinson but, up to this point, I hadn’t been very impressed with his theatrical US offerings. The Mr. Bean movies were ‘over the top’ and the first Johnny English just seem like a collection of outtakes with no fluency. Yet, after cracking up during the trailer for Johnny English Reborn, I decided I wanted to give Mr. Atkinson another chance in his spoofed spy role. Am I glad I did!
In this film Johnny English establishes an entirely new identity, free of Mr. Bean-ness. I rather like this aspect because Bean as a spy is just not something that works for 1-1/2 to 2 hours. This time around, Johnny is actually somewhat skilled and knowledgeable. After a huge slipup on his last mission, Johnny hides away in a remote location to retrain himself and forget his past. His new-found self comes in handy as he’s called back for a special assignment from MI-7.
The humor is subtle at times and blatant at others. My husband, my daughter, and I were laughing so much! The difference with this sequel was in the storyline. It had a solid plot you could follow and ‘mostly’ believable characters. I love the gadgets English had and the way their usage was played out in the film. Oh, there is a recurring joke meant for the male audience. Guys, be warned: you will empathize with English in several scenes in the movie…
As it is a spy movie, there are some brief action/fighting scenes yet no blood or graphic elements are present. This was very mild and seemed more innocent than even the way it was presented in Cars 2 (which really should have been rated PG instead of G, but that’s another post). I really doubt bopping someone on the head with a tin tray will bother most people. There was little to bad language. Most were dressed modestly but one actress is shown in a bikini. One kissing scene is included and, though it was not fleshed out, it was enough to make my daughter turn away and ask, “Is it done yet?”
Still, we all had so much fun watching Johnny English Reborn. As there were so many small jokes and details I may even be watching it again sometime soon!