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Johnny English starts off a little bit like Bean: For some reason, wildly
constructed, Rowan Atkinson ends up in a position that is far beyond his
capabilities. Where Bean turns from Museum Guard to Museum curator
impersonator, Johnny English turns from male Monneypenny-alike mission
planner to James Bond replacement.
In a Bean kind of way, of course. Now that is where comparison with Bean should stop: Johnny English talks, for one thing, and doesn't just gesticulate around like a bit of a moron. And while he still causes a lot of trouble and shines in his incompetence, he manages to be far more charming and far less annoying than Mr Bean is in a 90 minute movie. Expect lots of visual humour, but also the odd moment of funny dialogue (the "making love" dialogue scene is quite hilarious)
The plot is standard Bond fare: A French tycoon is up to no good, stealing crown jewels and trying to become king of.... England, oddly enough. There is a Bond girl, played by Natalie Imbruglia and sharing more similarities with Sophie Yeoh's butt-kicking bond girl than with the more traditional damsel in distress. But unfortunately, there is no equivalent to Q, nor to M and the movie is a bit too much of a one-man show.
How does it fare then? On the laughter front it was quite satisfying, easily outmanoeuvering the once-too-often repeated Austin Powers, putting anything recent by Leslie Nielsen to shame and being an altogether fine Bond spoof. There is lots of slapstick (including the disgusting kind), but the movie manages to be less over the top and closer to Bond than to old National Lampoon / Mel Brooks movies.
Altogether the movie was pleasantly surprising - better than Bean (which isn't too hard, to be honest) and Austin Powers (although it is a different kind of spoof). Still not brilliant, but a good dose of old-fashioned entertainment. Pity the trailer gave away quite a lot of the best bits.
Plus, the bad guy was supposedly French, what more could you ask for?
Silly as hell, but funny as anything! Rowan Atkinson once again shows
the world his talents - impeccable comic timing, style, a little bit of
cheekiness, and superb acting. This movie is a personal favourite of
mine, and I reckon it is perfect to watch anytime you feel low or need
some cheering up. The man who brought you Bean (1997), now brings you
Johnny English, a parody of James Bond. I loved Bean, and I love this
one just as much, if not more. Ignore the pathetic critics that rate
this as crap, because it most certainly isn't. It is a piece of comedy
that you will not regret seeing - I recommend this to anyone. Heck,
even my grandmother liked it! (And that's saying something)
Seriously, if you haven't watched this, you really need to.
Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson) is a bureaucratic employee of the British
Secret Service, who dreams to be a charming agent. His dreams come true when
all the British agents die, due to the lack of security in a funeral where
he was the responsible. Johnny English, with the support of his assistant
Bough (Ben Miller) and Lorna Campbell (Natalie Imbruglia), fights against
the evil Pascal Sauvage (John Malkovitch), a powerful French who wants to be
the king of the United Kingdom and transforms England in a great prison for
all criminals of the world. This silly story is a very funny parody of 007
movies. Rowan Atkinson is very hilarious, as usual, and it is impossible not
laughing with his stupidities. The singer Natalie Imbruglia is very
beautiful, the unknown Ben Miller is the efficient assistant of Johnny
English, and John Malkovitch, with a ridiculous French accent, complete the
funny cast of this comedy. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): `Johnny English'
A clumsy daydreamer by the name of Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson), who
works for the Secret Spy Agency. When all the British Top Spies are
killed, they asked Johnny to take over the case to investigate a
mysterious rich evil french man by the name of Pascal Sauvage (John
Malkovich). Johnny's only help is from his loyal partner (Ben Miller)
and a beautiful, mysterious spy woman (Natalie Imbruglia) could help
bring Sauvage to Justice.
Directed by Peter Howitt (Anti-Trust, Laws of Attraction, Sliding Doors) made a entertaining comedy that spoofs the films of James Bond and The Naked Gun Trilogy. Atkinson is a delight and Malkovich is at his silliest role to date (He seems to have a real good time in this movie). The film's plot is surprisingly good but you wish, there is more laughs at times. Atkinson's fans won't be disappointed.
DVD has an sharp anamorphic Widescreen (1.85:1) transfer (Also sharp in Pan & Scan transfer) and an good-Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. DVD Extras are Deleted Scenes, Behind the Scenes Featurette and more. Kids will probably enjoy this more than the adults. Written by Neal Purvis (The World is Not Enough), Robert Wade (Die Another Day) and William Davies (Twins). (*** ½/*****).
Allthought I wouldn't rate it as a well thought artistic piece of art in the cultural aspect (such as a Kubrick movie, for example) Johnny Enlighs is probably the funniest movie I've ever seen. If you are in the mood for a good laugh out of a not 100% stupid movie, then, only then, its a must see. I saw it a year ago and I still remember Johnny's face and actions. I must admit that really stupid movies make me sometimes angry, this is not that kind of movie that has no sense at all, it has a clear setting, and a great cast (perfect cast if you're talking about Johnny's selection). Probably better than the Mr. Beans, "Johnny English" is a must see for those who laugh easily. Another very important hint: don't watch it alone. Watch it with someone who makes you laugh. The last hint: if you don't laugh, probably Blockbuster® gave you "Lost Highway" instead of "Johnny English", a pretty uncommon mistake.
I wasn't a big fan of Rowan Atkinson and didn't have a lot of expectation
out of this film, but it really cracked me up. First of all, you need to
understand "Johnny English" is not a British version of "Austin Power". I
found "A.P" ridiculous in general and didn't always appreciate their
But Johnny English is one of those better made spy topic comedian films.
The best approach of watching this movie is to see it without a lot of expectation and I assure you that you will have a good time.
The talented Rowan Atkinson expands his character from a series of TV adverts shown in the UK in the late 1990's onto the big screen.So does the transfer from two-minute sketches adapt successfully into feature-length narrative? The answer surprisingly is quite well,although the film does have flat spots and gags that somewhat misfire.The plot and incidents that take place are an obvious mixture and borrowing from the NAKED GUN and AUSTIN POWERS series of parodies,but what is refreshing is that the character of Johnny English is mostly free of the occasional mugging that was witnessed in the above films,and also Atkinson's MR BEAN creation,which was of course wordless but did sometimes engage in some rather messy slapstick.There is some messy slapstick here,but Atkinson's interpretation is closer to his greatest comic character of Edmund BLACKADDER,with his sometimes cynical and sarcastic tone,though he has traits of bumbling incompetence like Mr.Bean,though not total idiocy which makes English more sympathetic.A lower budget than the AUSTIN POWERS series means there are fewer elaborate set pieces,but some scenes work very well and there are some witty exchanges of dialogue.There's decent support from Natalie Imbruglia,Ben Miller and Tim Pigott-Smith,but John Malkovich is the most amusing as the villain with his cod French accent.It is encouraging to see a comedy which underplays it's scenes these days,rather than performers shouting and screaming in a desperate bid to force laughter out of an audience.That said,some scenes in the film don't always come off,perhaps because they are understated too much,but the best bits are very funny(especially the final scenes)and further sequels with this character would be most welcome.
Hmm....what can be said about this film? I was amused many places, but the
plotlines were so predictable you could tell all the things meant to be
funny was about to happen, way before the climax of the amusement took
place...sad, very sad....Johnny English is a strange character - he has
moments where he seems a little intelligent and he has a big talent for
coming up with excuses, but apart from that, he is immensely stupid -
to a point where the fun stops. I know Rowan Atkinson spoke out that
was completely new character of his, but it is NOT - take Mr. Bean, add
speaking lines and you've more or less got Johnny English. If he HAD to
repeat his old characters, I would much rather see an agent of the Edmund
Blackadder caliber! THERE would be something to have fun
I'd say that this is NOT one of Atkinson's better moments, and I actually think the picture is stolen by his agent male partner, of the flick - the rookie (I forget his name). He is toned down a lot but he is the one that made me laugh at several places, amongst others the lines "Are you coming over here in a minute, sir?". Won't spoil anything, but if you've seen the movie you know what I refer to.
But, if you're an Atkinson fan, like myself, go and see it. It's not horrible, but it's not fabolous either! Around average, nothing more, nothing less..
It's not just that the jokes are funnier (there's one explicit poo joke,
which is one too many, but still: it's just the one) or that Rowan Atkinson
is a far better performer than Mike Myers, or anything comparatively trivial
like that. No. The real difference is that "Johnny English" has its heart in
the right place. Part of this difference is the fact that it has a heart at
English, unlike Powers, is not just a blank space in which the screenwriters can insert gags. He's a character. And there's more to the character than just clumsiness and pomposity. English is endearing because he's manifestly no fool. We know more than he knows, we see the banana skin immediately in front of his feet which he invariably fails to see, and in a way it's his fault he fails to see it himself, but his failure to see it is always something other than a failure of intelligence. He's easy enough to humiliate but, for some reason, hard to hoodwink. It's refreshing, too, that we're allowed to feel for him - when, for instance, he's dismissed from the case. We see Johnny English being devastated, not Rowan Atkinson trying to be funny.
Sure, it's not what it could have been. It's funny without being brilliantly so, and the satire (what there is of it) is on the blunt side. But these merely negative failings aren't enough to kill a film. Its biggest problem may be bad timing. When the script was being written, the anti-French sentiment must have seemed quaint and amusing, harmless because unreal; nobody could have predicted, surely, the sickening wave of hatred (the fact that it was all planned by the likes of Rupert Murdoch does not, alas, make the hatred any less real) that was shortly to sweep over the English-speaking world. Any joke about the French now has a sour taste at best.
This is one of those movies peppered with those occasional gut-busting
scenes that we have come to expect with a comic actor on the order of
Atkinson, but is substantially more full of a lot of disposable humor in the
form of English's bumbling; for example, going to the wrong building, going
up the "poop shoot," Sauvage's coronation (which is probably the best/worst
example of this) etc. It comes across as strained and ultimately worthless
for comic effect. I despise the kind of humor that is stretched much too
far to be funny. It is so telegraphed that mid-way through the movie you
can invariably anticipate exactly WHAT he is bumbling into and whatever
vague humor it had is butchered. It becomes excruciating.
I would, however, enjoy seeing this turn into a screen franchise for Atkinson--IF (and this is a big IF) they give him a solid screenplay to work with. The plot and characters were all fine--even Malkovich's purposefully ridiculous French accent (and clearly John M. is slumming for a few bucks in this one)--but the movie lacked vaguely consistent humor. The bumbling James Bond-ish character is a one-noter--Atkinson would be funnier in funny SITUATIONS (I daresay mini-"Bean"-type scenes peppered throughout the movie) that are not strained to reveal merely how bumbling and stupid he can be (yes, by 15 minutes into the movie we GET how bumbling English is - don't spend the entire movie explaining it to us again and again).
Comedy is tough to write and tougher to execute on - but Atkinson has the chops to handle it. He just needs the right material. There were a few gem moments and enough "chuckle humor" to make this a worthy rental. Imbruglia is respectable as his female counterpart -- and none too tough on the eyes. She could be an excellent female lead in a franchise.
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