JOHNNY ENGLISH STRIKES AGAIN
After a cyber-attack reveals the identity of all of the active undercover agents in Britain, Johnny English is forced to come out of retirement to find the mastermind hacker.
Review by Louise Keller:
You've got to hand it to Rowan Atkinson. He is a genius. Whether playing comedy or drama, he keeps everything contained. Even if the comedy is broad, Atkinson keeps his performance small, which of course exaggerates the lunacy of the situation at hand.
Delightful from start to finish, this third film in the franchise offers chuckles galore amid hilarious concepts, stunning locations and beautiful women. In fact there are two women - Olga Kurylenko as a drop-dead gorgeous spy who wears fabulous gowns and Emma Thompson, in wonderful comedic form as the British Prime Minister, struggling to handle a major cyber attack that puts all undercover agents at risk.
Jake Lacy plays Jason, Silicon Valley billionaire and expert at virtual reality. Playing it straight is Ben Miller as Johnny English's trusty side-kick Bough, who suffers all the faux pas that are dished out. And of course there is Atkinson: the former spy put out to pasture as a teacher, gleefully showing kids the art of camouflage and other spy-technique skills. William Davies' script cleverly allows for each set up to be carefully promoted before the delicious execution. Director David Kerr has a real feel for the tempo of the comedy and delivers it all with restraint and style.
The film is every bit as fresh and funny as Johnny English Reborn (2011); this time around, the humour is a tad more sophisticated and contained. I love the scene when English and Bough surreptitiously climb up the side of the luxury yacht, Dot Calm at night, wearing magnetic boots - only to discover that the magnet also sucks up cutlery from the kitchen.
One of my favourite sequences involves a Mont Blanc pen (jazzed up for spies), a cup of tea and a room of old timer spies. There's a letter-box red Aston Martin that roars around the hairpin bends of the South of France roads, a glam bar in the Hotel de Paris at Cagnes-sur-Mer and a little bottle of green and red pills - one for sleep, the other for being plugged into an electric current. The scene when insomniac English takes the wrong colour pill and ends up on the dance floor wearing a white suit, Saturday Night Fever style, is hilarious.
I laughed throughout this funny, fabulous spy spoof, satisfied by the clever ideas and brilliant execution. Johnny English is British through and through and it is the marvelous touches of authenticity and humour that make it zing.
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JOHNNY ENGLISH STRIKES AGAIN (PG)
(UK, France, US, 2018)
CAST: Rowan Atkinson, Olga Kurylenko, Emma Thompson, Jake Lacy, Ben Miller
PRODUCER: Raphael Benoliel, Chris Clark
DIRECTOR: David Kerr
SCRIPT: William Davies
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Florian Hoffmeister
EDITOR: Tony Cransoun, Mark Everson
MUSIC: Howard Goodall
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Simon Bowles
RUNNING TIME: 89 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Universal
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: September 20, 2018