Johnny English (2003)

Earlier this month, the trailer for Johnny English Strikes Again dropped. It was funish so I decided I'd rewatch the first film before the new one. I had no idea there was a second movie, Johnny English Reborn, and now that I've rewatched Johnny English, I realised that I hadn't seen this one either.

This one goes like this. When Agent Number One (Greg Wise) is killed and so are all the other MI7 spies while attending Number One's funeral, Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson), the only British spy left, is tasked to protect the British Crown Jewels. But he fails to do that and the crown is stolen. With the help of his assistant, Bough (Ben Miller), Johnny starts investigating the theft and the prime suspect is a mysterious French entrepreneuer, Pascal Sauvage (John Malkovich).

An obvious parody of James Bond, the plot is simple, rather weak, sloppy, beyond predictable --there are some twists but you can see them coming miles ahead-- and has plenty of holes, but it's decent enough to keep you interested and entertained.

The plot, however, isn't really the thing about Johnny English that keeps you entertained. That would be Rowan Atkinson. He is the glue that keeps the film together and prevents it from being tedious. His portayal of Johnny English, the most clumpy and imcompetent spy ever --even his sidekick is a better spy than he is--, is excellent. Atkinson uses his comedic abilities very well and his deliveries are always funny, even with most of the jokes and gags being incredibily predictable.

Universal Pictures
The supporting cast is also worth of a mention. While Natalie Imbruglia should stick with singing as she does a way better job in that field, Ben Miller does a good job as Bough, English's assistant. The stand out, however, easily is John Malkovich. He plays Pascal Sauvage, easily the most silly character he has ever played. He is given no funny lines whatsoever and he can only rely on a ridiculous French accent to make the audience laugh, but he manages to make that work. The character is quirky and absurd but Malkovich makes you believe such a person could actually exist.

As I mentioned above, the comedy isn't Johnny English's strongest suit. It's very predictable, gags and jokes often feel forced and the laughs don't come as fast as they should, but overall it works.

Ultimately, this is not The Naked Gun, but it's still worth the time if you are looking to a silly movie to entertain you.


  1. Lo ammetto, all'epoca lo andai a vedere solo perchè adoravo Nathalie Imbruglia, uno dei miei amori di gioventù <3

  2. I enjoyed the film. It wasn't a great movie but certainly fun to watch. I love Rowan Atkinson and John Malkovich as it was good to see the latter in a comedy. Plus, how can you not love that scene of Atkinson lip-syncing to ABBA? My mother lost her shit during that scene as she couldn't stop laughing as she loves Mr. Bean.

  3. OK, I was on the fence seeing this but now that I read that he lip-syncs to ABBA, I have to see it

    1. You have to watch this, it's so funny and that ABBA scene is probably my favourite.