Johnny English Reborn: The Return of Rowan Atkinson

Seven years after the original Johnny English movie, Rowan Atkinson returns to the big screen to reprise his role as the bumbling MI-7 agent who thinks he’s all that but is actually isn’t.

The movie opens years after Johnny’s surprisingly successful mission to protect the Crown in 2003, and takes place after he is dismissed from service following his failure to protect an important African leader from assassination. In order to deal with his disgrace,  Johnny tries to find peace in a monastery in Tibet, learning their ways and seeking enlightenment. As expected, Johnny’s quest for enlightenment was fraught with loads of funny mishaps and misadventures that did not disappoint audiences who went to the cinema to see a laugh out loud comedy. However, just as Johnny learns to adapt to life in the monastery, he is called to return to MI-7 to unravel a secret plot to kill a Chinese leader which will result in a global conflict involving the most powerful countries in the world. As Johnny delves deeper into the mission, he discovers a connection between a group called Vortex, the assassination in Africa and the fresh attempt to murder the Chinese official.

The movie was rather formulaic and employed the generic sequences present in parodies of the James Bond franchise, but what made the movie shine was really its star Rowan Atkinson. Atkinson needs only to wiggle his eyebrows or throw a smoldering look before the audience is in stitches, a rather good indicator for a comedy film. Atkinson’s portrayal of the idiotic veteran agent combined with the performance of newcomer Daniel Kaluuya as his awestruck sidekick Agent Tucker was dynamite on screen, especially in the scene where they do a duet of Don’t Give Up on Us, Baby by David Soul. The movie was very entertaining, even when most of the best parts were already shown in the trailer. What’s amazing is that despite having a hunch about what’s coming, the execution of the comedy and how Atkinson delivers his rather ridiculous sketches, wallops a punch that has the entire cinema roaring with laughter the whole time. Seriously, I could hardly hear the dialogue because of the gales of laughter ripping the theater.

Dominic West (Punisher War Zone, Centurion) was an effective villain but there really wasn’t much for him to do, and supporting cast all showed up when they needed to. The filmmakers set out to shoot a hilarious sequel, and in my opinion, this is precisely what they served up. I actually liked this one better than the original. This is a movie I would definitely recommend to anyone who wants to just chill and keep the stress at bay.