A critique of Johnny English Strikes Back.
The return of the new (Johnny) English attempt at making us laugh in the aisles is a disaster. Only minutes into the movie I was already wondering why they bothered. More to the point why I bothered…
The answer is of course: FOLLOW THE MONEY TRAIL. Yes apparently the first two Johnny English movies were money spinners.
As a result Emma Thomson plays a token Theresa May, echoing the famouis actress role of the authoritarian figure of Judi Dench’s relatively recent MI6 chief from the Bond series. The movie squanders any possibility for potentially anarchic comedy settling for a ‘safe’ and conventional-don’t-upset-anyone-standard and falls into the trap of. So much money and what a waste.
I suppose all across the world are fans of the actor who presume that anything Rowan Atkinson does is as funny as Mr. Bean. Someone came up with the idea for Atkinson to play James Bond – himself I can imagine, as many comedians eventually become fed up with never getting the girl.
John Cleese expressed that so well after Fish called Wanda saying how else am I going to get to star opposite a beautiful actress like Jamie Lee Curtis if I dont write the script myself? NO WAY it can happen ! But Fish called Wanda was a great movie, whereas this Johnny English Strikes Back film is turgid. This film sets out to parody the Bond movie genre but ends up trying to compete with it. Which means of course the parody turns into a damop aquib..
For me the Roger Moore Bond movies were the best parodies anyway as Roger Moore could play either the real thing stirred not shaken or Bond with his Martini tongue well shoved into his cheek – he managed to achieve that double edge in all his Bond movies. Atkinson comes a poor second here to Roger Moore.
I cant say too much about the other characters apart from the fact they try hard – maybe too hard – and must say apart from the Virtual Reality scene which is mildly amusing at least, I more or less forgot everything when I got home.
This maybe since Atkinson himself looks suddenly very old to this viewer. His face shows some signs of a botched uplift and he has as much interest in the plot as a used condom might have. So many times it looks like he’d rather be sitting at home by a large fire watching a better movie.
So now we have a Daniel Craig already too old for his next Bond movie and an aging Atkinson also too old for the parody. What next for aging British institutions I wonder?