Johnny English Reborn: Movie Review

Rowan Atkinson is a comedian best known to make people laugh by not uttering a single sound. His comedy is the physical kind - making quirky gestures with his face, setting-up nonsensical situations or just being plain naive and aloof. He could probably beat-up Charlie Chaplin if he was born a wee bit earlier. Of course we are talking about the infamous Mr. Bean. In "Johnny English Reborn", we see a different side of Rowan Atkinson - a talking one and yes, no thanks to the leading man, "Johnny English Reborn" works. It just proves that Mr. Atkinson should not be stifled to a television show character. And yet, one man can only do so much to salvage a film rife with subpar screenplay and a mediocre story.

Johhny English (Rowan Atkinson) has been on hiatus since the assassination incident that killed the President of Mozambique. English has been training in a remote region in Asia. When MI7 finds out that the assassination of the Chinese Premier was being planned, the agency seeks the help of its lost top agent. English agrees and with one shot at redemption, finds out that a group called the Vortex are the ones behind the plot. Vortex is composed of three men with each one having a portion of a key that's going to be used as the primary weapon to kill the Premier. English will go around the world to find out who are the men behind Vortex.

"Johnny English Reborn" is successful because of two men - Johnny English and Rowan Atkinson, the actor playing him. The character is not your usual comedy-spy-fi guy. Johnny English may be aloof or naive but he isn't stupid and he actually knows his secret agent stuff. As for Rowan Atkinson, it might be his British accent but he fits perfectly as Johnny English. Our favorite sequence was the one in Hong Kong. It's so inventive, imaginative and funny at the same time. It takes a jab at how the usual action scenes are set-up and how stupid they are at times. As much as we liked the witty one-liners and thrilling comedy-action scenes, we hated the plain Jane story. It's the usual meaning it's also predictable. It doesn't help that the screenplay felt a tad subpar when compared to other films in this calibre. Overall, "Johnny English Reborn" will make you laugh. The story may be the usual but it tickles the funny bone more than the usual.

Rating: 4 reels

Why you should watch it:
- Rowan Atkinson struts his stuff and proves that his comedic skills go beyond the silent-type
- the action sequences were thrilling and funny at the same time - inventive even

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- subpar screenplay and ho-hum story are major turn-offs

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