Review: JOHNNY ENGLISH STRIKES AGAIN

By Mark Saldana 

Rating: 1 (Out of 4 Stars)

There isn’t too much to say about this sequel, other than it is so unfunny.  I can literally count on one hand the few times I either laughed or snorted a little, but these few humous moments were not enough to save this sinking ship of a franchise film.  These laughs are mainly because of the committed performance by talented actor Rowan Atkinson, who, despite the terrible material, manages to be funny a few times.  Rowan Atkinson is way too talented an actor to continue working on these films.  I can only hope that this failure of a sequel will be the final nail on a much needed coffin.

Atkinson, of course, reprises his role as MI7 agent Johnny English.  Since the last film, the former spy has worked as a school teacher, hoping to share his espionage skills to a much younger generation.  When a massive cyber attack plagues his old agency and England as well, English gets called out of retirement to lend a hand.  Though not as tech savvy as a modern agent, English and his assistant Angus Bough (Ben Miller) feel that their old fashioned sensibilities is the perfect remedy to what ails their agency and beloved na tion.

Written by William Davies and directed by David Kerr, this third installment of the Johnny English franchise is heavy with sight and physical gags that fall flat and hard with very few humorous results.  Though the filmmakers try to give the film a story that is relevant to people’s reliance and obsession with technology, internet and social media, the jokes are so lazy and half-heartedly conceived.  The villain’s power-driven plot and motives are so obvious and paper-thin that it’s not even funny or all that interesting. Even the gags which reveal the ineptitude of the English character are rather predictable and just plain dumb.

It breaks my heart to say these things  about a movie starring Atkinson because I have much love for his comedic work on the Mr. Bean series, in addition to his other character actor work.  Obviously a professional and consummate artist, Atkinson gives this role his all, but even his all cannot elevate how bad the material is.  The film also features performances by Olga Kurylenko, Ben Miller, Adam James, Emma Thompson, and Jake Lacy.  All of these actors seriously deserve a better film.

Audiences deserve way better as well.  My sad recommendation is that people should avoid this film entirely.  Ss much as I like thee cast members, I feel that this sad, struggling franchise needs to be euthanized.  Any support would enable producers to make another film.  That is something I think most people with some standards do not want

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