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MOVIE REVIEW: It’s Three Times The Laughs In “Johnny English Strikes Again”

The UK is in peril. Five days before the Prime Minister is to host her first G12 summit, MI7’s security is breached and every agent in the field identified and exposed. The only hope of finding the perpetrator is to bring an agent out of retirement, but with most of them either dead or close to it, the head of MI7 is left with only one choice, and his name is English… Johnny English.

Originally starting out as a parody of a spy in a series of television advertisements for a credit card provider in the UK, the character of  Johnny English (played by Rowan Atkinson since the first film in 2003) had come a long way. After two successful films, Rowan Atkinson returns to his role once again in “Johnny English Strikes Again.”

In this sequel, Johnny English had lived a simple life as a teacher for the past years. But when the nation is put into danger, Johnny English immediately accepts his mission.

But things have changed since he was last in the field; guns and gadgets have been replaced by digital phones, sports cars by electric hatchbacks. English is aghast, but quickly finds a way around this new protocol, reasoning that it takes an analogue approach to catch a digital mastermind.

And so, blowing the dust off the fully loaded Aston Martin, digging out the exoskeleton suit and magnetic boots, arming himself with transmitter sherbet dips and exploding ear buds and retrieving Bough from the forgotten basement of MI7, English embarks on his mission.

In this third installment of the hit spy comedy franchise, we get a battle between the old and the new, with English always ending up being toyed around by modern technology. In one of the film’s most hilarious scenes, English prepares to infiltrate the opponent’s house, he is asked to complete a virtual reality simulation in which he explored the enemy’s mansion. He ended up unknowingly assaulting a few civilians in the process. Another scene that you should watch out for is when English ended up taking Instant Release High Energy pills and danced the whole night away.

Admittedly, the story isn’t anything new. It’s something we have been so familiar with after watching dozens of spy films in the past. But despite that, the film is full of effective physical comedy and Rowan Atkinson’s classic Mr. Bean spoofs. There isn’t a single moment in the film that you won’t find yourself chuckling, at times, laughing so hard with all their jokes and gags.

The film boasts a very talented cast including Emma Thompson as the British Prime Minister. Ben Miller, who plays Bough in the first “Johnny English” film, another MI7 agent who was English’s old assistant before, returns to his character after not being part of the second movie. He shares some really good chemistry with Atkinson ala-Sherlock Holmes and Watson. Matthew Beard (of “The Imitation Game”) and Adam James play the new generation of MI7 operatives.

Olga Kurylenko joins them as Ophelia, a Russian spy while Jake Lacy plays tech billionaire Jason Volta. Rowan Atkinson is ever adorable as Johnny English. It’s so fun to watch him as he goes on a mission while wearing those classy tuxedo as if he’s stuck in a 60’s spy movie.

“Johnny English Strikes Again” is undoubtedly one of the most fun action comedies of the year. Rowan Atkinson nailed it again as he brings his iconic and beloved brand of comedy back to the big screen.


5 – Excellent
4 – Very Good
3 – Good
2 – Tolerable
1 – Terrible

“Johnny English Strikes Again” is now showing in cinemas nationwide, distributed by United International Pictures.

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