Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Johnny English Review

This movie can be summed up in two fantastic lines: "Oh, pull yourself together.  It's only a bit of poo" and "Alright, so I was wrong about the Arch Bishop's bottom."  It's got that British comedy "sophistication."  By that I mean that it takes the sophisticated and makes it low brow in a funny, snooty way.  It really is a ludicrous cross between Get Smart and James Bond.  There is actually an eerie similarity between Johnny English and Maxwell Smart.  Both are actually smart agents who know their stuff and finally get their shot.  They are just accident prone buffoons who seem to get things just a bit wrong.

All in all though, I really like this movie.  Never once are you supposed to take it seriously.  It is meant to be a ridiculous romp that has a lot of gags and buffoonery.  It does a good job of combining physical comedy with dialogue humour.  While it will never make any "Best Ever" lists or anything like that, it is a solid comedy.  At times though, it does feel like not much more than an excuse to have Rowan Atkinson act like Mr. Bean while being able to talk.  But, really, what's the harm in that?  Rowan Atkinson is arguably one of the greatest comedians around and this allowed him to flex those muscles a little bit.

There are just two things about Johnny English that I must say needed to be improved upon.  First, John Malkovich.  Everything non-verbal in his performance was OK.  But the French accent was one of the worst to ever be in a movie.  It was absolutely pathetic.  Second, the resolution was absolutely ludicrous.  The writers could have added 10 minutes to the script and given it some legs that would have fit the movie better.  Instead, I felt like I was all of a sudden switched over to King Ralph (a movie I do love, by the way).

However, those are the only two things that I disliked about this movie.  If you want a quick little feel good comedy, see it.  If you're looking for anything cerebral or intelligent, don't.

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