Johnny English: Reborn (2011) – 3/10 espionage action comedy movie review

Cast / crew
Rowan Atkinson: Johnny English
Gillian Anderson: Pamela
Dominic West: Ambrose
Rosamund Pike: Kate
Daniel Kaluuya: Tucker
Richard Schiff: Fisher
Director: Oliver Parker
Producer: Tim Bevan
Producer: Eric Fellner
Producer: Chris Clark
Writer (Screenplay): Hamish McColl
Writer (Story): William Davies
Executive Producer: William Davies

Johnny English: Reborn (2011)

Years after being dismissed from MI7 in disgrace for the death of a Head of State during his watch, English is called back as the only trustworthy person for a contact who has details of another upcoming assassination.


This is a movie that very nearly works as the makers attempts to reduce English’s horrendously unfunny ineptitude from the first movie. Sadly, it absolutely does not work. This is a comedy where you frequently sit stony-faced through the comedy scenes and suffer queasily while Johnny English hits on every woman in the movie. What makes it more disappointing is how close it is to working. The thriller plot is fine, there’s a surprisingly nice relationship between English and Tucker, Dominic West is terrific and the action sequences are unusual and imaginative. Generally, English doesn’t bumble his way through. In the first one he uses his brain to outwit a more agile and younger opponent (using a lift instead of clambering down a building, for example). The helicopter sequence features a couple of good gags (chopping the trees and following the road). The wheelchair sequence is set up well, has a great location (The Mall) and a cool escape (spoiled in the trailer, of course). But for every good idea and each of the two funny moments ("Stop!" and "I’ve been trained to resist…"), there’s something excruciating to sit through and the whole movie makes you ache for some Roger Moore Bond; some fun and some fun action. Special mention for, arguably, the best scene which runs over closing credits as English prepares some dinner. If the whole movie had been this delightful, this would have been a classic.

This movie contains bad language, adult dialogue and violence and mild sensuality.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.


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