Does anyone remember spoof movies? Back in the early 2000’s they were pretty big things, we had movies like Scary Movie, Epic Movie, Disaster Movie, Extreme Movie and Scary Movie 4. Then we come to today and we have movies like Scary Movie 5, The Starving Games, Breaking Wind and many more bargain bin movies that you’ll forget about soon after watching. Spoof movies is a dead genre at this point because most of them look worse than the terrible movie they’re making fun of. Luckily today I don’t have to touch the dirty disgusting underwear of the straight-to-DVD spoof movies but instead I’ll be picking up the stained underwear of the passable spoof movies. A good example is the title of this article.
Johnny English is striking again at the cinemas so I thought it would give me something to do by rewatching the second movie from 7 years ago and the first movie from 14 years ago. Why am I doing them together? Because it’s just easier to do it this way and I don’t see many of you being interested in reading two separate reviews for two similar movies. (Now that I think about I don’t see the double whammy idea working either!) Anyway, if you made it this far than you’re one of the lucky few people who is about to read The BC’s Johnny English 1 & Reborn Review. If I wasn’t broke I would give you a T-Shirt saying ‘I’ve just read The BC’s Johnny English Double Whammy Review’. I’m sorry, I’m going off track.
2003’s Johnny English is a pretty obvious spoof of James Bond a year after the other famous Bond Spoof series Austin Powers. Johnny English is James Bond as a bumbling idiot, having a confident self-centred personality like Johnny Bravo and with looks like Mr Bean. So when all of Britain’s top spies are all killed, the only guy they have left is the guy who was dubbed in his High School yearbook ‘most likely to doom the entire planet if given the right amount of power’. Yeah, this movie is really stupid.
So the plot of the movie is John Malkovich has a French ancestor connected to the British Royals and in two villain monologues in the movie he explains that he wants to be king and turn all of England into a giant prison because he hates those British scum. So it’s up to the incompetent Johnny English, the hot sexy female sidekick and his more useful actual sidekick to stop the evil mad man and along the way Johnny English will make it very easy for this guy to get what he wants.
The plot of this movie is very uninteresting, the more interesting part is the journey to stop the evil guy, aka the comedy. Most of the humour is visual comedy because that’s what Rowan Atkinson is best known for and he’s very good at it. Most of the humour hits and misses for me. For example a miss is a car chase where English and his assistant are following some goons but they get stuck in traffic and they lose them, this part felt like the slowest moving car chase in movie history. The scene after I felt was pretty funny where English follows the wrong car to a funeral and he accuses all guests of being criminals and then Bough has to get him out the situation by saying he’s escaped from an insane asylum – that was pretty funny.
I don’t really have much else to say, it’s a very bland movie. There are some pretty good jokes here and there but I would never sit down in front of it again. I would say this is the most humorous out of the two and the best part of the movie is the song ‘A Man For All Seasons’ by Robbie Williams. Now this takes me back to 70’s Bond movies.
For some reason those Hollywood hacks thought we needed another Johnny English movie and this time he is Reborn as a guy who is resilient to nut shots, but is still a stupid moron. So years after the first movie we see Johnny being trained by Tibetan Monks who do Kung-Fu. English is brought back on to the field to discover his beloved MI7 has been bought by Toshiba and every actor from the first movie has been replaced with random new people we’ve never met before. So we learn that English abandoned the service when a mission went horribly wrong and he has been brought back to stop an evil group called Vortex who plans to kill the Chinese Premier. English can only stop them by stealing one of the three keys that the three founding Vortex members have for pulling off the assassinations and of course, he’s Johnny English, so he’s going to find a way to give the villains the edge but they somehow still lose. Amateurs!
I will say this is an improvement over the other one for starters the plot is much more interesting in some parts and it’s pretty engaging with some of the character interactions. Bough is replaced with Daniel Kaluuya and he’s the best new addition to this series. I found it annoying with the first one that Bough just kind of sat back and let his boss continue to screw up while this guy tells him off when he goes too far and it’s way more believable because he’s much younger and he’s just a rookie who looks up to English.
The other characters are just the dressing, it’s about Johnny again because he is reborn with stronger genitalia. I felt the same way in the last movie that the love interest and the villain are the weakest characters in the movie especially so in this movie. My problem with the love interests is I don’t buy their attraction to Johnny. This one is kind of better in this movie but is still pretty weak and the villains are just boring.
Let’s talk about something more exciting like the action and chase scenes are way better, my favourite being the wheelchair chase which was pretty hilarious. I guess the other positive is that this one has a better variety in locations like they go to China, the Swish alps and the flashbacks take place in Africa which is better than the last movie where they go to some random castle in France. It’s also way more diverse than the first movie which I don’t see it as a positive because I honestly don’t care how not diverse or diverse a movie is. But for those who care than it’ll pass your radar.
Uhh, what else, the humour I guess. Well since Toshiba bought MI7 now they can afford their own Q tech labs which makes more sense than the random gadgets in the last movie. There is some funny comedy with some of these gadgets and some more Johnny English is an idiot humour. Which is all kind of throwaway like the first movie and a new addition to the franchise is getting kicked in the groin because that’s just comedy heaven.
Okay that’s all I’ve got. This is the best Johnny English movie and the meeting scenes are boring and the twist villain was too predictable. Good Night Everybody!
So 7 years later and we’re getting another Johnny English movie because the last two were real gems. Like when Mr Bean made the Archbishop moon 100,000 people or when he bashes up the Queen of England at the end of the 2nd movie, those were good times. I know what I’m about to say is way off but I’m going to say it anyway, according to my calculations if Johnny English was meh and Johnny English Reborn was passable so that means Johnny English Strikes Again should be a masterpiece. If not it should get an Oscar nom.
Next time I’ll be here all week complaining about what’s hot at the box office and what is hot on Neetfix and not complaining about any irrelevant thing that I come up with at the last-minute. Oh dammit, I forgot I planned to review Flash Gordon in time for Bohemian Rhapsody and I’m all booked out to February 2019.
BC, Signing Out