Johnny English Strikes Again: Film Review

I was a huge fan of the original Johnny English when it came out – in 2003, when I was 14 years old – but my sense of humour has matured somewhat since then so I didn’t hold much hope for Johnny English Strikes Again. It was silly and ridiculous, but had surprisingly more laughs than I had predicted.

Rowan Atkinson is back as English, who is now working as a geography teacher, although he teaches his kids spy tricks on the side. When MI7 is targeted and the list of all their active agents is made public, the Prime Minister (Emma Thompson) has no choice but to reach out to former agents – and English gets the job. He must track down the cyber criminal who is hacking government computers with the help of trusty sidekick Bough (Ben Miller).

The thing with English is that he is truly incompetent at his job, and at times this was funny and at others it was super annoying. How can one person be so stupid?! In the first film I was always rooting for him to save the day and surprise everybody, but this time I didn’t care so much. I didn’t see him as the lovable idiot I did before.

The trailer didn’t make me laugh at all and I feared the film would have the same problem the whole way through, but it did have some moments which really got me, like the VR sequence or the Sandstorm dance sequence. But ultimately, the comedy is very hit and miss. There are just as many moments that weren’t funny or just a bit too stupid or too awkward to enjoy. It doesn’t help that a lot of the comedy set pieces are predictable and you can see what’s coming a mile off.

Atkinson is a lot of fun to watch as English and Miller makes for excellent sidekick. No one really gets a proper character with depth, they are mainly surface level identities which means the cast – including Olga Kurylenko, Jake Lacy and Matthew Beard – are working with stereotypes.

The plot isn’t the strongest – it is basically English and Bough searching for clues – but it is an easy yet forgettable way to spend 90 minutes. If you liked the originals, you will enjoy this – perhaps not to the same extent as the first two though. If you thought they were dumb and immature, this won’t do anything to change your mind.

In cinemas Friday 5th October 

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