Johnny English

3 out of 10


Bond Spoof That Could Have Been Better

A spoof of the well known Bond flicks, this film follows the adventures of Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson), who starts off as an assistant to the top spy in the British secret service- the ridiculously charismatic 'Anent One'. When Agent One is killed in action, all the other agents in the service are present for his funeral. Is it just me , or does this seem like an invitation for disaster? Sure enough, a bomb goes off, killing every agent the service has. And so Johnny English finds himself called to the service of his country.

His first mission makes him the head of security at a party unveiling a display of the newly cleaned and restored Crown Jewels, which are promptly stolen. As he works desperately to retrieve the stolen Jewels, the film follows him from one brilliant and utterly botched plan to another, including one beautiful scene in which he confuses a muscle relaxant with a truth serum.

Although it has some unbelievably hilarious scenes, this film could have been done better. There is one major problem. Atkinson does really good slapstick, but this film gives him a character who is too serious too much of the time. It simply doesn't allow him the chance to show off that strength as well as it could. It's an amusing story, and a rather original one, which is rarer these days, but it can't, or perhaps just chooses not to keep the comedy going all the way through to the extent that it needs, which is a pity. It's got some good laughs, but not enough of them to really be worth it.

Film Critic: Bronwynn Erskine