More Slapstick Spy Games With Rowan Atkinson in 'Johnny English Strikes Again'

The gags are a mixed bag.

Johnny English Strikes Again (PG)

Starring Rowan Atkinson, Ben Miller, Olga Kurylenko, Emma Thompson

Directed by David Kerr

Rowan Atkinson is back as Britain’s most bumbling spy, recalled to active duty to stop a hacker from exposing the identities of undercover operatives. As usual, Atkinson delivers a mixed bag of slapstickery and spy games that’ll either crack you up or leave you groaning. (What’s funny in the trailer isn’t as amusing in the eventual movie.)

Series newbie Emma Thompson is fun as the Prime Minister. She should play the PM more often, hopefully, in a proper spy flick. The Office’s Jake Lacy is a little underwhelming as the tech mogul-cum-megalomaniac plotting to destroy the Internet. Yeah, sure, whatever. And there’s Olga Kurylenko as the femme fatale; how did she go from Bond girl to Bond-spoof girl?

If you like Johnny English and Johnny English Reborn, then you might as well complete the trilogy with Johnny English Strikes Again. Seriously, do we need another Johnny English? Absolutely. Because the world is dark and gloomy and we need something to cheer us up, even if it’s just for 90 minutes. So It’s quick and painless.  

Just think of English as this uncle who’s always telling jokes during family dinners. Even though his jokes aren’t that funny, you still put up with him and laugh along because you’re used to it — and you don’t want to embarrass him. (**1/2)

 Photo: UIP 

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