A sophisticated cyber attack has revealed the identities of all current undercover secret agents working for MI7 and as their sky falls around them the UK’s only option is to recall some of their retired agents back to active duty to ensure tomorrow never dies.
Under the spectre of continued attacks, enter Rowan Atkinson’s Johnny English, now a teacher using his license to kill to surreptitiously train up the next generation of super-sleuths.
Rowan Atkinson is, once again, perfectly watchable as the hapless agent and his excellent comic timing and seemingly rubber body just about manages to amuse for 90 minutes, but any longer and this spy would have been in danger of boring the living daylights out of you.
Ben Miller is excellent as Bough, the real brains behind English’s success, and former Bond girl Olga Kurylenko is a spy from Russia with lovely action skills which, sadly, aren’t showcased enough.
Jake Lacy as Jason Volta, a computer whizz for whom the world is not enough, is neither threatening nor funny as a nondescript baddie with his golden eyes fixed on global domination. That’s not his fault, he just isn’t written for as the script by William Davies lacks consistency and features some strange choices such as making Emma Thompson’s Prime Minister an alcoholic flirt more interested in impressing a man almost half her age than saving her country. Being Emma Thompson she manages to pull it off, but she could’ve been so much more.
Davies and returning Johnny English Director David Kerr successfully create a handful of laugh out loud moments including wonderful cameos from Charles Dance, Edward Fox and Michael Gambon, but an awful lot of the funny moments lose their impact if you’ve already watched them in the trailer.
Amusing in parts, and held together by Rowan Atkinson’s comedic skill, Johnny English can just about keep working on her majesty’s secret service to live and let die another day.
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Film critic. YouTube channel www.youtube.com/benpeytonreviews
Former actor. Band of Brothers, Emmerdale, Holby City and a regular (PC Ben Hayward) in The Bill.
Voiceover artist with Rhubarb Voices.