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Johnny English Reborn [DVD]
Guide price: £7
Last updated on 24th May 2012
Johnny English Reborn [DVD]
Rowan Atkinson reprises his role as the slightly hapless, but still remarkably effective secret agent Johnny English in Johnny English Reborn. Atkinson's deadpan slapstick delivery is in fine form in this sequel to 2003's Johnny English. The sequel actually delivers as an excellent action film, with outstanding cinematography showcasing scenes as diverse as Hong Kong and Tibet, as well as a comedy along the lines of Get Smart.
Johnny English Reborn opens in the mountains of Tibet, where a disgraced English has been living in a monastery, learning focus, attentiveness, and martial arts of the avoidance rather than of the über-attack variety. He is suddenly called back into action to serve Her Majesty in the spy agency MI-7, to help take down an international ring of assassins.
English is reluctant at first, but then jumps at the chance to avenge the mistakes he made years earlier, and to deploy his new arsenal of skills. Johnny English is a very crisply directed, well-written, and even unpredictable comedy-action spoof, and it just might make fans out of Rowan Atkinson doubters. The timing of the gags is really well done, and Atkinson seems game for just about anything.
He is also surrounded by a splendid supporting cast. Gillian Anderson plays the severe new head of MI-7, Pamela, with crisp assurance. Rosamund Pike is the comely Kate, a potential love interest for Agent English. And Daniel Kaluuya plays newbie Agent Tucker, who is assigned to accompany English, and who brings skills (and baggage) of his own. Director Oliver Parker, known mostly for his remakes of classics like Othello and The Importance of Being Earnest, brings a sure vision and entertaining pace to Johnny English Reborn.
There's some crude humor, mostly in the form of blows to various groins, but there's no bad language or over-the-top grossness, so Johnny English Reborn is suitable for older kids and teens. --A.T. Hurley
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