Film Review: Johnny English Strikes Again starring Rowan Atkinson

Johnny English Strikes Again, the third instalment of the comedy series starring Rowan Atkinson, hits UK cinemas on 12th October 2018 and London Mums managed to get a preview screening for children to review it first hand. Read our first reactions here. 

The story 

Rowan Atkinson returns as the much loved accidental secret agent.
 The new adventure begins when a cyber-attack reveals the identity of all active undercover agents in Britain, leaving Johnny English as the secret service’s last hope. Called out of retirement, English dives head first into action with the mission to find the mastermind hacker. As a man with few skills and analogue methods, he must overcome the challenges of modern technology to make this mission a success.

The first official trailer 

Directed By

DAVID KERR (Inside No. 9, Fresh Meat)

Starring

ROWAN ATKINSON

BEN MILLER

OLGA KURYLENKO

JAKE LACY

EMMA THOMPSON

 

The verdict 

Johnny English Strikes Again is a slapstick comedy or, if you want, a spy spoof that makes fun of all things British particularly the 007 movies. With this in mind, we all loved it! The child reporters from the London Mums Kids Club loved it so much they rated it 10/10 and already want to see it again and want to order the DVD to watch it on repeat. 

Kids are big fans of Johnny English and of Rowan Atkinson generally and it is obvious why. Unlike 007 secret agent James Bond, Johnny English is totally incompetent but despite his failures and bad track records, MI7 calls him back to rescue Britain and the world from world-wide cyber attacks perpetrated by a billionaire villain. Kids love him because he messes up with basic technology, he has no clue on how to use mobile phones, VR and iPads so he opts for an old-school spy mission. He reminds me of Inspector Clouseau vs the Pink Panther with the personality of Mr Bean. His gags don’t need much dialogue similarly to Mr Bean’s episodes and are perfect also for non-English-speaking audiences. 

Johnny English Strikes Again is a comedy clearly aimed at younger cinema-goers. The humour is wacky and simple to understand like when Johnny English dresses up in a heavy Lancelot armour to disguise himself and can barely walk, then he mistakenly looses his underwear in front of the convoy of politicians, he acts as a posh spy who knows everything but has absolutely no clue. He is also very funny as a school teacher who tries to incorporate spy tricks into his School of Rock-type of lessons. 

Some adults might see a parallel between the female prime minister Emma Thompson in total meltdown after the cyber attack and Teresa May but there’s little in the script to support deeper comparisons. 

To the children’s delight, Bough is back as Johnny English’s sidekick. The on-screen chemistry between the two is fantastic and together they provide lots of funny gags: they disguise themselves as clumsy waiters in Southern France and then set fire to the restaurant.

One of the best gags is offered by Johnny English when he tries to use a Virtual Reality headset to familiarise himself with the interior of the cyber villain’s house. Instead of staying inside the MI7 offices, he wrongly goes out and creates total mayhem in the streets of London. Both kids and adults were in stitches at this moment. Another funny moment is when Johnny English mistakes sleeping pills with energy pills and becomes hyper so he goes to the hotel disco. You can just imagine his hilarious moves on the dance floor totally unaware that a Russian spy is trying to kill him. 

London Mums’ rating: 7/10 

Kids’ Club rating: 10/10 

 

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About Monica Costa

Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums

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