A spy who leaves us cold

A spy who leaves us cold

November 04, 2012
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October 07, 2012
There's one major problem with Johnny English Reborn: it's not that funny.

Maybe it's a case of lost in translation, but the British spy spoof fails to do the one thing it's set out to do - make you laugh.

A failed assignment, which costs the life of the President of Mozambique, leads to English (Rowan Atkinson) retiring to a Tibetan monastery, where he's mastering martial arts.

Soon, though, he's needed back home by British Intelligence, now headed by Pegasus (Gillian Anderson), who has uncovered a plot by a shadowy group to eliminate the Chinese Premier.

English is assigned to look into Vortex, three assassins who each possess a key which, when combined, will unleash havoc.

As expected, the movie trots out your usual collection of mistaken identities (including the Queen), gadget mishaps, groin attacks and grannies packing heat. The film treads a fine line between mocking and not wanting to offend, as if Atkinson was apologising for his act.

Atkinson is best known for his bungling Mr Bean persona. He plays that part wonderfully. But he does less well uttering his lines here in a thick British accent.

I enjoy Atkinson's visual comedy: his impeccable timing transfers over to his role as English. But the whole inept-spy-who-ends-up-saving-the-world spoof has been done to death - and certainly done better - in comedies by the likes of Mike Myers and Leslie Nielsen.

YP Rating: 2/5

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