October 24, 2014
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Johnny English Reborn
2.5 stars
Reviewer's Rating:

(Spy spoof)

Rowan Atkinson reprises his role as the naive, clumsy British spy in this silly satire of 007 and copy-cat of the Peter Sellers' "Pink Panther" series.

Atkinson is an acquired taste. He's best enjoyed in a crowded theatre where the laughter can become infectious. I find him amusing. Joyce can't stand him, so she stayed home.

Johnny is still suffering from bungling his job in Mozambique. He tries to get it all together at a retreat of sorts in Tibet in a funny opening sequence.

Five years after being dismissed, he is called back into service at a modernized M17. He is sent to Hong Kong to prevent an assassination.

There is one very funny chase scene, with our hero "chasing" a bad guy through the streets and rooftops of Hong Kong. The bad guy jumps from one building to the next, climbs down rickety scaffolding and takes death-defying risks, while English calmly uses elevators and shortcuts.

There is also a recurring character, an old Chinese woman who shows up as a cleaning lady and attempts to kill poor Johnny, who mistakes her for other elderly ladies. (You have to be there.)

There's a romance, although it is hard to believe how the pretty young spy could be attracted to this idiot.

All turns out well in the end, and if you sit through the lengthy credits, as only I did, you will see a funny little bit with Atkinson making dinner for his girlfriend.

Rated PG. The kids will enjoy Atkinson's antics. Unless you are in a silly mood, you may soon tire.


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