Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Review: Johnny English Reborn

My claim to shame is that I am one of the few people to have watched the original "Johnny English" in the cinema though it wasn’t by choice.  Under the duress of direct questioning you might get me to admit that there were a few funny (albeit completely asinine) scenes between Rowan Atkinson’s Johnny English and Ben Miller’s Bough.  Fast forward to the present day: when the opportunity to watch "Johnny English Reborn" free of charge presented itself, well…I took it.  After watching this film, I have to say that this film made its predecessor look like an exercise in comedic genius.

The main problem with "Johnny English Reborn" – and oh there are so many – is that the film is just not funny.  The physical comedy is a total miss; the verbal gags are void of wit and humor; and there is absolutely no chemistry between any of the principle characters.  In his previous incarnations, Atkinson has displayed a moderate sense of comedic timing and the ability to sell some seriously-hard-to-sell physical comedy, but watching him go through the motions in Reborn feels like watching Jackie Chan in "Rush Hour 3" performing action sequences when clearly he had lost a few miles per hour off the fastball.  As for the plot – if there even was one, it is flimsy and completely forgettable. 

The more perplexing question about this film is the presence of Rosamund Pike and Gillian Anderson.  Pike of “Pride and Prejudice” and “Die Another Day” fame exudes grace, style, and class on screen and her participation in this project leads one to believe she was in need of a paycheck.  As for Anderson, we can only hope that she finds her way back into the role for which she is best known (Scully in "X-Files").  As for the rest of the cast, Dominic West delivers his typical performance, but his turn as the heavy is completely telegraphed because he is typically cast as one and Daniel Kaluuya’s Agent Tucker is a very cheap man’s version of Ben Miller’s Bough.

There really is not much more to say about this film except that it is horrible and I will never get back those 105 minutes of my life (another 15 minutes wasted if you tack on the time it took me to write this review).  Don’t see it.  Don’t rent it.  Don’t even talk about it.  I think that about sums it up.

Standout Performance: Rosamund Pike for being Rosamund Pike.


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