Johnny English (2003)
I’m either not young enough or not old enough to find this as funny as it finds itself.
Spy movie? Yes.
Significant innovation? Mr. Bean as spy.
It’s sort of a smarmy Ben Stillerish comedy about awkwardness and a supply clerk promoted to faux Bond in the defunct department of propaganda and censorship. Atkinson can be funny but he’s not always funny in this movie. Lorna and Bough have to go to unbelievably generous extremes as supporting characters and there’s some plot weaknesses that exist because of efforts to keep some sense of continuity. Unfortunately, a lot of British movie fans will simply tell you that if you’re not laughing it is because you’re too boorish to get the joke or that it’s not meant to be a joke that you guffaw at like some mulish brute. That’s not to say that Neal Purvis and Robert Wade will say that, just fans of their movies. I’ve been trying to find the right adjective and I’m pretty sure this movie is puerile.
Does it have funny moments? Sure. Does it have spy shit and spy action? Yup! Did you know Natalie Imbruglia was an actress? Me neither! Did you think it was weird for her to have a Devanagari “Om” tramp stamp? Me too! Is she part of Aum Shinrikyo? I don’t know, doubt it! Did she learn it at a yoga session and thought it would be appropriate on her ass as she twisted around? I don’t know, maybe? If she means it as part of hindu faith then what message is she trying to send a lover with that location? It’s complicated? Did you have a hard time figuring out if Bough was “Boff” or “Bob”? You bet! Were you grateful for the corporate logo joke: saUvage? Yup! Did you know the same screenwriters wrote Skyfall? Me neither! Did you know they aren’t writing the next Bond, how do you feel about that? I don’t know! Maybe grateful?
It was alright but didn’t do enough to stand out from the crowd of Bond/spy spoofs glutting the market which is ironic considering who made it.