Directed by: David Kerr
Written by: William Davies
Produced by: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Chris Clark
Starring: Rowan Atkinson, Ben Miller, Olga Kurylenko, Jake Lacy and Emma Thompson.
Rowan Atkinson returns as MI7 super-spy Johnny English in this third instalment of the series, Johnny English Strikes Again.
Now in retirement, he works as a geography teacher while secretly (always undercover) training new recruits in all things Intelligence, from camouflage, to late-night capture drills including man-traps (that he inevitably falls into), and the subtleties (or not so subtle) seduction techniques needed by all British spies worth their salt.
When MI7 is hacked and all the secret service agents are blown, the Prime Minister (Emma Thompson) already with her hands full running the country with a glass of red in hand, brings back agents from retirement to help find who’s behind the cyber-attacks.
English and Co.’s total lack of digital-savvy is pointed out by ever-loyal side-kick Bough (Ben Miller) as an (accidental) advantage when supervillains plan on taking over the world using technology – ‘I am Sander, I love data’, says the device held by tech-giant and apparent saviour of the nation, Jason (Jake Lacy) – indeed.
Although the ever-persistent bumbling idiot, Johnny can still drive an Aston Martin and power-up magnetic boots when required – the villains ‘have to get up pretty early to outwit British Intelligence’.
Olga Kurylenko as the too-beautiful-to-be bad Ophelia does well to keep a straight face.
This is a feature-film debut for director David Kerr, and this is certainly the best Johnny English so far. The material from writer William Davies and the surprising amount of attention to detail gives the film clever humour as well as being silly:
‘Oh look! Sweeties!’ exclaims Bough when Johnny reveals a suitcase full of cotton-tip explosives, sherbet bombs with locating device and jelly teddies that blow your head off and the roof of the car if eaten.
And Rowan Atkinson is hilarious with his perfectly timed, subtle change in facial expression mixed with moments like the response to an obviously French waiter serving Champagne with, ‘Danke schön’.
It just tickles!
I was crying with laughter when Johnny was attacking the British public when accidently escaping a training compound with VR glasses on; the switching between the VR vision of him attacking an enemy to his covert behaviour in a bakery had my nephew and I in stitches.
I had a lot of fun watching this film with the constant asides (a selfie taken with the PM with the electronic, ‘needs photoshop’) that once tickled got me in hysterics with the more obvious, silly humour.
Atkinson is back looking a little older, a little crazier and a lot funnier.
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