Bean The Ultimate Disaster Movie (1997)
As you should know by now, I am a fan of the comedy character Mr Bean, as played by Rowan Atkinson, putting his “rubber-faced funnyman” talents to the extreme. After appearing in 14 TV episodes that were very successful, it was decided that it was time for this character to bumble on to the big screen. The director was Atkinson’s old Not The Nine O’Clock News mate Mel Smith.
Now as we know of course, Mr Bean is a man of few words, so how could he be placed into a film? Well there was a rather ambitious idea. Mr Bean works at the National Gallery Of London. He is rather useless though, so the staff put a plan together to try and get rid of him… he’ll be off to America! But is our loss America’s gain? An art gallery has bought “Whistler’s Mother”, which they describe as the greatest American picture ever, as they aren’t very modest.
The gallery insist that he is a scholar of great weight and substance, but our hero gets into a pickle even by his own standards, as everything that could go wrong, does go wrong. Mr Bean goes to live with David Langley who works at the gallery, as they prepare for the big moment, and he isn’t ready for the bizarre situations he is going to be put in. The rest of his family almost instantly pack their bags and move out, which shows what they think of all this.
It’s fair to say that he struggles to deal with American culture, and his rather eccentric ways stand out. Whilst admiring the picture, Mr Bean makes something of a mess of it, and if anyone discovers this there’ll be big trouble. He manages to hatch a plan though, and hopes that everything will work out. When it’s time to unveil the picture, it’s a very important occasion, even Burt Reynolds turned up and everything.
The picture is now back to its original self, and Mr Bean gives a rousing speech how lovely he thinks it is. Everyone is very pleased, it’s $50 million well spent, but it seemingly cost David his marriage. By the end, Mr Bean is bringing people back to life and rescuing David’s marriage, despite everything he has become a friend. His philosophy on life seems to be when people go up to him and say “you can’t just…”, he does.
Bean The Ultimate Disaster Movie was something of a success, satisfying the worldwide fanbase, even if critics were less impressed. The DVD contains few extras though, with an episode of the cartoon version, plus a quick look behind the scenes, and one of the songs from the soundtrack was also a Top Ten hit. About a decade later, Mr Bean returned to the big screen when he went off on holiday and caused havoc again, and I’ll review that one soon too.