her majesty's crown jewels are stolen by a conniving Frenchman,
who also plans to steal the queen's throne, Johnny English,
a bit unseasoned but intensely enthusiastic, is thrown onto
the case. Fast cars, high tech gadgets, top secret info -
Johnny can hardly believe it. He may be in over his head,
but his courage and dedication are unmatched - especially
after he meets double agent Lorna Campbell and discovers that
falling in love makes saving the nation even more exciting...
English could have been such a mess. The mere notion of
it has 'box office disaster' written all over it. A movie
designed to spoof the James Bond series of movies is hardly
original, with the most recent attempt being the Austin
Powers films. But, for the most part this is entertaining
Atkinson plays Johnny English, a character not unlike the
bumbling secret agent he played for a series of Barclay Card
commercials a number of years ago. In fact maybe a little
too similar as his sidekick here is again called Bough.
whole movie is clearly a vessel for Atkinson's Mr Bean
style bumbling humour but, in this instance, it works quite
nicely. For the most part the script is fairly original [well,
as original as this genre can get] but there is one scene
that is taken straight from The Naked Gun [the tattoo
on the bum scene] and there are more than a few Blackadder
and Mr Bean moments.
supporting cast are faultless too. Ben Miller is perfect in
the role of Bough, John Malkovich is outrageously over the
top as the crazed Frenchman who wants to turn the UK into
a giant prison and Natalie Imbruglia is great as the love
interest - although she is very under used.
are some great action sequences and hilariously dark comic
scenes - including one at a funeral. And while the writers
really go hell for leather poking fun at the French (I
never thought I'd say this, but the biggest laugh in the movie
was reserved for a very funny voice over by Chris Tarrant),
they spend most of their energy ridiculing
the end of the movie things start to fall apart, but the director
quickly wraps up the final scene and the end credits roll
just in time to stop everything getting too silly.
DVD menus are also worthy of note. Obviously, someone has
gone to a great amount of effort to emulate the MGM James
Bond menus and they look really impressive.
on the disc are okay with a making of documentary, character
profiles and observation tests (which if you get right you
get to see 10 minutes of deleted scenes - which are pretty
good. There are some additional DVD-ROM extras including downloads,
spy challenge, spy profiler and indentikit.
Johnny English is over the top and a few of the jokes
don't work. But, on the whole, this is fun. And the kids will
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