Johnny English Reborn (2011) starring Rowan Atkinson, Rosamund Pike, Daniel Kaluuya, Gillian Anderson, Tim McInnerny, Dominic West, Richard Schiff, Burn Gorman, Stephen Campbell Moore directed by Oliver Parker Movie Review

Johnny English Reborn (2011)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Rowan Atkinson in Johnny English Reborn (2011)

The Accidental Secret Agent

Having ballsed things up Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson) has dropped off the grid and has been honing his skills at a Tibetan monastery where they teach him to be the master of his body. But when the government become aware of an assassination attempt against the Chinese Premier MI-7 hunt down there once top agent as he is the only one who can save the day. With the latest array of gadgets and the skills he picked up in the monastery Johnny must unravel what is going on which leads him to suspect corruption in several government agencies from around the world.

The first "Johnny English" surprised me by not only being funny but managing to build the humour around the storyline. Sadly it is the ingredient which is lacking as the storyline in "Johnny English Reborn" ends up being built around the humour with plenty of the humour being thrown in because one of the writers came up with what they thought was a good gag rather than because it had any significance for the movie and story. It is for me a pet peeve because this sort of movie needs to use the story to drive the humour rather than the other way around as it is then as is the case here it doesn't have any real control.

Aside from the fact they got it the wrong way around some of the humour works and that is mainly when it is built on the characters rather than being set piece gags. Now once again Rowan Atkinson is on top form as Johnny English and he is supported by some familiar faces such as Dominic West and Gillian Anderson but far too much rests purely on Atkinson's shoulders to make work and the supporting cast needed to have stronger parts to play.

What this all boils down to is that "Johnny English Reborn" whilst not a bad movie is not as good as the first movie because it makes the mistake of allowing the humour to drive the story rather than building humour around the story. Some of it still works but it could have been so much better.