Gone are the days, where Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson), entertained the audience of all ages, with silly and yet funny stomach-out laughing. He now enters as a secret spy in MI7, calling himself as Johnny English (2003), the first part arrived; now it has been a long while to bring the movie’s franchise reborn, as Johnny English Reborn. Probably it is too late. The audiences have lost Atkinson, as Mr. Bean since 2005, because he tried to be in the hunt with some movies, which needed more seriousness rather being humorous. The director (Oliver Parker) has taken a long time to bring the franchise on screen, where by now viewers might have forgotten the original. Written by William Davies, and co, the movie is reborn, by Universal Pictures.
We see Mr. English (Rowan Atkinson) in mountains of Tibet, where he is training harder, for controlling mind. After a big mistake in his life, he is suspended and now they want him back to do a job. He is sent to Hong Kong along with his agent Tucker (Daniel Kaluyya), by Pegasus (Gillian Anderson). In Hong Kong, he needs to find a Chinese man with spectacles, who can give important information, about meeting a person in terms of secret code. The fact is that there are three keys required, and all together can be fused to open up a device or some drug that could be used, to kill a Chinese person. The hired assassins calling themselves Vortex are three in number and each one possess a key. Now English and his agent must capture them, before the keys are taken away by a secret spy inside English’s department MI7. What is the device and, how English accomplishes the mission is to be watched.
The storytelling is sluggish. The narrative goes in form of use of Technology, by Agent Kate (Rosamund Pike), where she finds the inside of English. His big mistake is revealed and a clue is found where he travels to capture him. With the runtime of 100 minutes, the movie looked 45 minutes sufficient, with enough humor, a silly plot and lots of clever chases, and take downs and 45 minutes of dragging the plot with, characterization of Mr. Atkinson. He is a special spy, with all the talents to catch a person, even though he is yards behind him. He does not do any dare devil stunts, such as James Bond does, and simply catches him. Of course he suddenly wakes up, and starts jumping from the glass and landing in a parachute. We have seen this many times in movies, but Mr. Atkinson is doing such stunts and we care all that. There are few scenes, where the humor was forced. For instance, English struggles to do a helicopter stunt that takes time to land, where he is traveling just 12 inches from ground. The special wheel car chase, in the road, where cars are going slow, than wheel chair! Why the director is dragging the movie. The main concept is spoken in a conversation, with certain board members. Mr. Atkinson is playing with the switch in the chair and we see him moving up and down. We do not care about the conversation there. Probably director has forced Mr. Atkinson to do that and leave the script behind. The time is ticking, and we have already seen enough of Mr. Bean show.
Mr. Atkinson tries to be romantic also, and he actually does succeed, after failure with the television series (Only Romantic angle). Agent Kate (Rosamund Pike) is somewhat important, to the movie in giving life again to English, and also helping him recover from his dark past. Gillian Anderson is a rough agent who leads MI7. She is actually having a daughter, and a mother with whom Mr. Atkinson messes up. She always shouts English (I cannot count how many times) and calmly says English at times. Where is the depth in her character? Daniel Kaluuya is agent Tucker, who is along with English. He is a man who plays computer games, when he is out of job. His character needed more. I expected him to do something to the plot. Dominic West is the best friend of English, and he does have an important role in the movie, but the motive is unknown. There are no big dialogues that define characters. The Chinese master (Togo Igava) is a source of inspiration for English. His words like “mind must be free from body”, is somewhat acceptable.
Music by Ilan Eshkeri, reminds me the old detective movie’s soundtrack. There is no tempo and everything seemed okay. The city of London, roadways, Hong Kong and finally Switzerland is all captured well enough to make up a visual feast. With many slow scenes, camera work is also good but not great. CGI has been limited to certain extent and neither are there, any big gun shots. The binoculars are missing and of course the James Bond car has some uniqueness than this one.
My word: Mr. Atkinson is all famous for doing silly things and make people laugh. In this he does satisfy a bit, and also with a senseless plot, he is forced on a mission that could disturb his career. I want him back to the television series. Still Mr. Atkinson manages to entertain audience with his histrionics. I give C+