Emma ThompsonOlga Kurylenko...
Action & AdventureComedy
In 1 Cinema
When you first order a pizza, it seems, and probably is, delicious. But if you leave it in the box at home while you go on a two-week vacation then it is guaranteed you will come home to an awful smelling house and a rotten pizza. Just because the pizza was delicious two weeks ago does not mean it will be so now, and similarly, just because Johnny English was kind of funny more than a decade ago, does not mean he is funny now.
Johnny English Strikes Again has the British Intelligence agent Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson) come out of retirement after a cyber attack reveals the identity of all current agents. English teams up with his old buddy Bough (Ben Miller) on a mission to find the source of the attack, stop the evil tech-genius behind it, and save Britain in the name of her majesty the Queen.
The basic formula of a spy parody that we have been seeing lately in films like Get Smart, and Spy, is repeated here, but the main problem is that the audience could see what is coming a mile away. New films have been tweaking the formula to avoid this issue, but Johnny English Strikes Again is still stuck in 2003 when the first film was made.
The issue with knowing what is to come is that it takes the laugh and surprise out of what is supposed to be a comedy film. Instead, the audience get a “occasionally grin” film rather than a “laugh out loud and drop your popcorn” kind of film.
The times when the audience would occasionally grin were actually due to Atkinson’s facial expressions, the weird dance moves, and his clueless glares into space. But even with Atkinson’s skills he cannot save this film from the out dated plot line and the cliché comedy formula.
Ben Miller gave an adequate performance as the sidekick who is completely amazed with English and unaware of how clueless he is. Playing evil tech genius Jason, Jake Lacy gave a very over the top and simultaneously bland performance. Olga Kurylenko played Russian spy Ophelia, and gave a convincing performance for the small role she had, even if her motives for helping the not so witty English were unclear.
If you liked the previous films from this franchise, there is a small chance you might like this. But, assuming you haven’t been in a cave somewhere and have watched other spy parodies since 2003, you will probably think that it is archaic.