There is one old joke.
The cowboy arrives in a town in the Wild West and sees a rider somewhere on the horizon. He rushes at a breakneck speed in an unknown direction.
“Who is this?” asks the guest.
“He’s the elusive Joe,” locals respond.
“And why is he elusive?”
“And who the hell needs him?”
Actually, this pensee perfectly matches the protagonist of the British-French comedy “Johnny English Strikes Again.”
Nobody needs him, because he’s a train wreck. The one will turn to him only when there’s no other choice.
Exactly this mischief occurs at the beginning of his “one more strike”. Mysterious hackers broke into the base of the MI7 British Intelligence. They leaked the data of all the agents into the Network. Then, computer conspirators arrange attacks on the entire sectors of the United Kingdom: they will turn off all traffic lights, or screw the economy. Because of the massive “leak” of agents – there’s only one person who can take care of this. He knows nothing about modern technology, and due to his ignorance, he’s invulnerable. But not only because of this.
The Johnny English franchise was born in 2003 as a reaction to the most famous spy epic – James Bond’s endless adventures, which for that moment have made enough of clichés and pathos to mock.
By the way, unlike the 007 agent series, “English” was intended for only one person – the British actor Rowan Atkinson.
Rowan Sebastian Atkinson (born on January 6, 1955 in the city of Consett, England, Great Britain) occupies one of the leading places in the highly competitive world of the British comedy. He was glorified for his role of Mr. Bean in the same name TV series (1990-1995) and Edmund Blackadder in the pseudo-historical sitcom “Blackadder ”(1983-1989) – for the latter he received the BAFTA Award.
“Johnny English Strikes Again” is the third picture in a raw. The format of this entertainment is worked out in other projects of Atkinson: like Mr. Bean, the agent English is a master to fall into completely idiotic situations, and then go out of them in the wittiest way so that in one of the last shots, after the world is saved, to get into another jam.
Of course, the appearance of Atkinson is bright enough, but his thing is still a comedy of intrigue. Any plot with the help of a flexible body (taking into account his 63 years!) and irresistible facial expressions can be turned into an exciting cascade of gags and funny tricks. This time, in his war against the villains, he’s helped, as usually, by a beautiful agent – Russian spy Ophelia Pistoletova (a little ding to the Hollywood scriptwriters, who are unable to come up with plausible names to Slavic characters) performed by our countrywoman, Berdyansk-native Olga Kurylenko. It is noteworthy that both Atkinson and Kurylenko have played in the “Bondiana”: Rowan – in “Never Say Never Again” (1983), and Olga played in “Quantum of Solace” (2008). So, they’ve made a mighty alliance: relentless serious fighter and dangerously funny monster, beauty and awkwardness. The enemy will be destroyed – you may not doubt that even, for even the most elaborate intrigues completely fall apart due to the fact that elusive Johnny will not obey any logic.
And in this, he is much more Britsh than it may seem. After all, one of the Islanders’ traditions is nonsense, the famous British absurd humor; and another custom is to laugh at yourself. Both the first and the second (not taking into account the mocking of the spy movies) are the things that fill the amusing adventures of Mr. English.
Another thing is that even this saga began to suffer from the same thing as the “Bondiana”. Here we already have clichés, the wittiness level of both scriptwriters and Atkinson has fallen down – that is felt in the new film.
But for some reason, you believe that Johnny-Rowan will get out of this trap. And while doing this, he’ll make everybody laugh.
Dmytro Desyateryk, “Den” – especially for opinionua.com