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Steen: Another character from Atkinson
Johnny English Reborn
Rowan Atkinson has done much in his long career. The Blackadder series of the 1980s (my personal favourite), Mr. Bean of the 1990s, but I think Johnny English is his best character to date.
Johnny English is a spoof on the plethora of James Bond movies, but any comparison stops there. English must capture international killers who are out to get the Chinese Premier. Following a hiatus from the spy world after he embarrassed the Brits on his last mission, now he’s trying to redeem himself. More subtle than the Pink Panther, English is, yes, inept but more sophisticated.
‘Skip the surly bonds’ of your workday and see this one. Sure this type of spoof and slapstick isn’t for everyone, but if it’s your genre, then you’ll laugh ’til you cry.
The cast includes Gillian Anderson, who plays Pegasus, the head of the British Intelligence, M17. Born in Chicago, Anderson, was in The Last Kind of Scotland, but she is perhaps best known for the X-Files.
Playing Quartermain—the role of Q from the Bond series—is Tim McInnerny. He was Percy in the Blackadder series, and in this show, he has obviously tested the spy toys way too many times, mostly on himself.
A cameo by Lily Atkinson, Rowan’s daughter may indicate that the next generation is following their famous father’s footsteps.
I think what truly makes Johnny English Reborn fun to watch is the fact that he is effortless in his manner, and while those around him are trying hard to maintain decorum, English just goes about his business of nonsensicality and ludicrousness. OK, forget the big words—he’s a bumbling fool, but a loveable one.
Another interesting cast member was Rosamund Pike, who plays English’s love interest. She plays an M17 psychologist. Pike herself is a former Bond girl in Die Another Day.
Pik Sen Lim (not a household name), plays the killer cleaner and believe me, I will never take a vacuum for granted again. In fact, I vacuumed over the weekend, and it was not the uplifting experience it usually is for me. Who am I kidding, when vacuuming becomes an uplifting experience for me, please call Shady Rest and have me committed!
There is not one, but many, many best lines. See Johnny English Reborn and chose your own.
I give Johnny English Reborn four reels of laughs.
Susan Steen is a local non-profit executive and movie buff.