The Comedy Vault – Johnny English Reborn.

Johnny English Reborn (2011)

Just like Rowan Atkinson’s popular comedy character Mr Bean returned to the big screen for a sequel almost a decade on from the first film, so did Johnny English. This is the bumbling spy who was loosely based on the character that appeared in the Barclaycard adverts. As he was given a second go, people wondered what he would get up to this time.

Apparently there were going to be some “hilarious consequences”. Now I always thought that this was something of a cliché that was never really used in all seriousness, but it does seem to be here, so let’s hope that the action lives up to all of the promise. Johnny has now left the spying profession behind after a rather disastrous mission.

But can he be persuaded by the top wigs at MI7 to return and do it all again? Well hopefully, otherwise there would be no film. Soon he gets involved in a web involving keys, cleaners, golf, and the Chinese prime minister. Can he untangle this web and get to the centre of the mission? He takes part in several stylish set pieces and amusing moments along the way.

He definitely has still got what it takes, using every gadget that he can (although not properly), and he does apologise to the 107 people who accidentally lose their lives along the way (well possibly). Now that’s got to worthy of a knighthood in anyone’s book. Honestly, you wouldn’t have seen anything more exciting in your average episode of Alias.

Johnny English Reborn featured a decent cast, including Gillian Anderson, although Ben Miller, who played his assistant in the first film, didn’t feature. The critics’ response was rather mixed though (well isn’t it always). DVD extras include a lot of deleted and extended scenes, featuring some insight from the director, along with some outtakes.

And as the years have gone by, we have realised that weekend afternoons on ITV2 just wouldn’t be the same without it, apparently, especially if it’s followed by Nanny McPhee. But they decided that a little more could be squeezed out of this idea, and another five years on there was a third film, which was Johnny English Strikes Again, and I’ll review that one soon too.


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