Starring: Mr. Bean, Ben Miller, Natalie Imbruglia and John
Directed by: Peter Howitt
Atkinson is one of the finest physical comedians in the world.
He can de-spine his body on a whim. He also has a knack for facial
manipulation that often makes one wonder if his face is made of
Marzipan. In Johnny English he displays a bit of both of
these talents within a so-so script.
. Desk bound secret agent Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson)
is about to get his dream job thanks to the demise of every other
British agent in service to the queen. His mission is simple...or
he's simple...I can't recall. He has to guard the newly restored
Crown Jewels from any thieves lurking about at the celebration
de unveiling hosted by wealthy hoity toity Frenchman Pascal Sauvage
(John - what's he doing in this pray tell?- Malkovich).
faster then bangers and mash produces Jell-O-like cellulite on
the population the jewels are stolen. Oopsie.
is not deterred. He's a gung ho company Britannic. He'll get the
culprit. Well, his assistant (Ben Miller) and he will - since
he can't even manage a regulation handgun properly
sleuthing leads him (almost immediately) onto the trail of the
Sauvage has a naughty le plan for England and it aint Foie Gras
hamburger franchises! Sauvage hates the British deeply and apparently
his family would have been crowned overlords of the place had
the French not been le booted from the little island a few hundred
years ago. He will have his revenge with a heavy creme anglaise
Johnny and his assistant and beautiful love interest (Natalie
Imbruglia) can save the people, the queen and the land.
you know the story already - it's Secret Agent Formula
101 - face it. Rowan does what he can to stretch a character he
first made famous in television spots for a credit card commercial.
As effeminate stereotype Pascal Sauvage, Mega-talent John Malkovich
does the worst impersonation of a Frenchman I think I've
ever heard. Dear god was it suppose to twist the cranium like
that when he spoke? Distracting!
a noble attempt and there are a few genuinely knee slapping moments.
But there's nothing very fresh within the mayhem. The story relies
greatly on the ongoing historical tension between the French and
British - hardee har har - and of course Rowan's signature antics
stiched into a bad Bond spoof. It's a safe family movie that never
indulges itself in the riotous.
recommendation: Le Choucroute du Baron and Guiness