Johnny English


Johnny English Review

Rowan Atkinson is a very funny man. Unfortunately, though his British television shows Mr. Bean and Black Adder have drawn cult audiences the world over, he just can't seem to translate this magic to the silver screen.

Johnny English (Atkinson) is a third-string spy working for British intelligence. When his uncontrollable bungling blows up all of England's first- and second-string spies, English is the only hope to save the precious crown jewels (and his country) from the plot of evil French mastermind Pascal Sauvage (John Malkovich). Along the way, fellow spy Lorna Campbell (Natalie Imbruglia -- okay, so English isn't really the last spy in Britain, which raises questions best left unanswered) steps in to give English and his less moronic assistant, Bough (Ben Miller), a hand.

The fact that this film is only 88 minutes long is testament to the thin material English has to work with. At times (such as when Malkovich speaks with his absurd approximation of a French accent), this movie feels 88 minutes too long. Even so, there are a few funny moments. Though I don't remember actually laughing aloud more than once, several children in the theater giggled constantly throughout the picture, which makes plenty of sense given the amount of poo humor splattered over the last third of the script.

Johnny English is funniest when Atkinson sticks to physical comedy, spastically gyrating about in his underpants. The rest of the time, the jokes are telegraphed so far in advance that they simply arrive as expected and are hardly worth noticing. In the end, the movie suffers from the same barrier that the motion picture Bean did. But the barrier isn't just cultural. Sometimes, what passes for entertainment on television is a complete waste of time on the big screen.

Class, nonstop, all the way.

Johnny English

Facts and Figures

Run time: 87 mins

In Theaters: Friday 18th July 2003

Box Office USA: $28.0M

Box Office Worldwide: $160.6M

Budget: $40M

Distributed by: Universal Pictures

Production compaines: Universal Pictures, StudioCanal

Reviews 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 33%
Fresh: 39 Rotten: 79

IMDB: 6.1 / 10

Cast & Crew



Starring: as Johnny English, as Pascal Sauvage, the Greedy Frenchman, as Lorna Campbell, Tasha de Vasconcelos as Countess Alexandra - Exotic Woman, as Bough, English's Sidekick, as Agent One, as Carlos Vendetta, as Dieter Klein, as Official at Funeral, as Prime Minister, as Pegasus, Head of MI7, as Pegasus' Secretary, Rowland Davies as Sir Anthony Chevenix, Philippa Fordham as Snobby Woman, Tim Berrington as Roger, Simon Bernstein as Assailant