Movie Preview: Johnny English Reborn


While I enjoyed watching Mr Bean when I was younger, I had never been able to appreciate that kind of comedy. So, there are very few movies by the likes of Rowan Atkinson, Steve Carell or Jim Carrey that I truly enjoyed. Well, except the occasional ones that surprises me, like The Truman Show (with Jim Carrey).

So, when I was given a chance to receive a pair of free tickets to watch the sneak preview of Johnny English Reborn - the spy movie featuring none other than Rowan Atkinson - I had my reservations. Would I find it funny? Would I enjoy myself? Would I be able to write an unbiased review? Well, I did watch, and I laughed and enjoyed myself. However, I have passed on the task of writing the review...

Review by Q

Disgraced spy on a mission to set things straight, cool gadgets complete with voice-commanded Rolls-Royce, intelligence agency with a no-nonsense chief (portrayed by a British-sounding Gillian Anderson), a pretty and intellectual love interest, and a few action and chase scenes (the one with the wheelchair was giggle-inducing!) - these are all hallmarks of a Bond movie, except that Johnny English Reborn does the spy theme in its own hilarious way.

After a fiasco in Mozambique - which still stirs painful memories within him - Johnny English (portrayed by Rowan Atkinson) finds himself in a temple in the remote mountains of Tibet, learning kung fu and meditation to forget his past. After being summoned back to the MI7 for a mission to foil an assassination plot on the Chinese premier, he is whipped off to Hong Kong to meet a certain Agent Fisher. He finds out that a group called Vortex is behind the plot and just moments prior to his death from a sniper bullet, Fisher shows him one of 3 keys that are required for the success of the plot. The trail subsequently leads English to the KGB, and ultimately to MI7, where one of the agents are involved in this sinister plot.

There is nothing new in the plot, but the star of the show is definitely Atkinson. With a 'rubbery' face that displays nonchalance and sometimes outright cluelessness, English does not try to be a suave and deadly-cool Bond. Neither is he a bungling idiot. He goes about it the English way - with loads of casualness and non-conventional yet highly-effective wisdom in handling matters, like side-stepping barriers and taking the elevator while chasing his parkour-boosted villain. Yes, there are some times that he mucks things up, but hey, that's the source of laughters and guffaws!

All in all, Johnny English Reborn is a spy comedy that doesn't take itself too seriously, with a main character that steals the show. Stay on after the credits roll for a demonstration of English cooking, with actions choreographed to Grieg's In the Hall of Mountain King. 101 minutes of laughter, right till the end of the credits.

::: Footnotes :::

I caught the movie preview more than a week before official opening in Singapore courtesy of United International Pictures (UIP) and omy.sg. The movie will be officially released in Singapore on 15 September 2011. Here are the official movie website and the movie trailer

{ Click here for a list of movies I've watched }

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