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Johnny English Reborn

2011-10-13 14:25
 
While everyone else looks on apathetically from the sidelines, Johnny English Reborn will have British comedy fans once again asking for the real Rowan Atkinson to please stand up.
What it's about:

Johnny English (played by Rowan Atkinson) is back – and this time the unlikely spy has to stop a group of assassins from assassinating the Chinese premier.

What we thought:

Johnny English Reborn is total rubbish. This, I'm sure, will come as a shock to absolutely no one – certainly not those of us who sat through the first film way back in 2003. And, yet, when you get right down to it, the Johnny English films' severe deficiency in the quality department really shouldn't be the given that it is always assumed to be. Not only do both films have solid supporting casts, they also have in Rowan Atkinson one of Britain's greatest comedic talents. Even putting aside Mr Bean, Atkinson has proven in Blackadder and numerous stand-up and sketch-comedy acts that he is a brilliant comedic master, equally adept at verbal and physical comedy.

Surely, then, a James Bond spoof starring Rowan Atkinson and a wide assortment of top notch acting talent (Rosamund Pike, Richard Schiff, Gillian Anderson and The Wire's Dominic West) should have at least raised a few more titters than this? Where did it all go wrong?  

What it basically comes down to is this – and pardon me if this seems excessively obvious: regardless of how impressive the talent is in front of the camera, it's the people behind the camera that most determine the artistic success of a film. Rowan Atkinson is a supremely funny performer (Don't believe me? Type "Rowan Atkinson Live" into YouTube, click on any of the resulting video links and prepare to have your funny bone seriously tickled) but there's only so much that even he can do with a script this limp.

Johnny English Reborn is far from the year's worst comedy – how could it be when people like Adam Sandler and Martin Lawrence still insist on regularly polluting our cinemas with the likes of Big Mommas House 3 and Born To Be A Star – but it's still shameful just how flat every single one of its jokes fall. Part of the blame must be laid at the feet of director Oliver Parker because this is, presumably, his vision we see on screen but the biggest problem with both Johnny English films clearly lies in the writing.

What we have here is a film that is a textbook example of that old idiom: aiming to please everyone, pleases no one. They have tried so hard to create a film that will appeal to all demographics and audiences that it simply won't leave anyone entirely satisfied. It's too stupid too work as a satire but too interested in being a Bond satire to work for the Mr Bean crowd.

It's too childish for anyone over 10 but its plot is probably too convoluted to truly work for kids. Most importantly, it's too flippant and toothless for it to work as a spy movie and too in love with its own plotting and action film pretensions to work as a comedy.  

The best you could say about Johnny English Reborn is that it's never offensively terrible and, at 100 minutes long including credits, it goes by at a decent enough clip but, when you consider how good a proper spy spoof starring Rowan Atkinson could be if anyone bothered to put some effort into it, moderately inoffensive actually isn't good enough.

Read more on:    rowan atkinson  |  movies  |  celebrities  |  review
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Son of God

2014-04-11 09:36

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(Comments may be edited or deleted at the Channel24 editors’ discretion)
Biggest Bull 10/14/2011 11:00 AM
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I loved the movie!! Thought is was the funniest movie since Rainman.
Lilian 10/14/2011 1:09 PM
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I love his movies it is so funny !!!you go Johnny English!!
Ghost 10/15/2011 10:41 PM
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Channel24 is always quick to trash movies, but Johnny English reborn was everything but "total rubbish". I mean do you expect Oscar material from a film like this? No, get your expectations straight. I prefer reading the comments on channel24's movie reviews than your reviews themselves. They represent a more accurate and honest view on the movie. It was a decent movie, and in my opinion well worth seeing.
michael Davies 10/16/2011 8:57 AM
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what a breathe of fresh air just a great funny movie
ruth 10/16/2011 1:20 PM
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you must be joking! I went to see it last night and the whole cinema full of people was laughing throughout. when it finished there was much applause. I think you had a bad day when you saw it, or need to not take yourself to seriously matey!
Blackadder 10/16/2011 3:55 PM
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This review is quite accurate - and I never saw the movie and I never will. Its pretty obvious that this is just low-brow comedy for the lowest denominator, which sadly is the majority of the SA audience. I'm pretty sure most of you flocked to the cinemas to see this because Rowan Atkinson is a funny guy. But let's not kid ourselves that this is a good movie. Its fun and harmless I'm sure, but if you think this deserves 4 or 5 stars then I doubt you have any taste to begin with.
Michelle 10/17/2011 6:59 AM
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I agree with the review, I really loved the first movie and couldn't wait to see "reborn" on Friday. I was very disappointed. The movie had one or two funny parts but the rest was generally crap. Another movie that proves that sequels should never be made!
Andile Sibuyi 10/17/2011 11:09 AM
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Awesome that's all i can say..........i love it i love it
Andile Sibuyi 10/17/2011 11:09 AM
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Awesome that's all i can say..........i love it i love it
Pieter 10/17/2011 11:38 AM
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Definitely no art movie, but can't remember when last I laughed so much. We all need a good laugh some times, not just the lowest denominator as suggested by Blackadder.
John 10/17/2011 12:45 PM
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Awesome movie, learn to relax and laugh a little!
truthbomb 10/17/2011 3:07 PM
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Thank goodness none of those who commented here review movies. You are mindless idiots, if you enjoyed this movie you must also enjoy repeatedly running headfirst into a wall. I'm surprised you managed to formulate an idea let alone write it as a comment on this website, so well done there.
evanx 10/17/2011 3:51 PM
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you should create a special category for spoof movies - on a scale of zero to ... one and a half stars if its an american made spoof movie then on a scale of 0 to 1 stars Johnny English might score 1 star which is pretty good for a spoof movie, if you ask the lowest common demoninators who commented here also i think cinemas should be reserved for proper movies and spoofs delegated to day time TV for children and their low-com-nom parents
Matty 10/17/2011 8:14 PM
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Here is the thing: if you go to see Johnny English Reborn hoping to see a Bond replica, you will leave the cinema feeling-as some clearly do- cheated. But if you are familiar with Rowan's work, and do enjoy his simple, stupid but effective humor, then you'll go to see this movie with the right expectations and will not be disappointed.
Susan 10/18/2011 6:42 AM
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It was a BRILLIANT movie, Thank you for making a movie with no evil and no dirty things, how refreshing. Why should we always be plagued by America's sick idea of entertainment? Congratulations, may there be many more!!!!!
Dominique 10/18/2011 8:55 AM
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Thoroughly enjoyed this movie. We all need a good laugh once in a while and this movie did just that. Movie house was packed and everyone was laughing.
Xander Alexander 10/18/2011 3:57 PM
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Whoever give reviews here must just stop it. HE/SHE has no taste, trying to put every movie down because of their slow minds...What you thought my foot
Amanda 11/8/2011 8:39 PM
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Loved it, laughed the whole time, felt good to just laugh at silly stuff, Rowan is a classic.
Rayno Lourens 1/21/2012 10:00 PM
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Totally loved this movie. Took my thoughts back to Mr Bean episodes. A good laugh and at least a storyline to follow. Glad I went to watch it.
ps3 hero 3/3/2012 8:55 PM
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OMG a FANTASTIC MOVIE LAUGHED ALL THE WAY THROUGH IT LOL
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