"Austin Powers Part 4, only less raunchy and more goofy."
That Rowan Atkinson is a funny guy. Or so I'm told. Aside from his scene-stealing turn in Four Weddings and a Funeral, I've found very little to giggle about. But humor, much like cinematic preference, is highly subjective so I can't just knock his newest flick just because he's too goofy for my tastes. So I'll just fall back on that trite old chestnut: "If you like _______, then you'll certainly enjoy his newest movie."With his Bean a bona-fide hit worldwide, it was only a matter of minutes before Rowan Atkinson would hit the U.S. shores with a new offering. Given that his North American equivalent is probably an Adam Sandler or a David Spade, you have to give the Brits a few points for quality. Atkinson may be broadly silly to a fault, but at least he doesn't resort to endless fart sounds and penis references for his humor.
The plot here sees Atkinson as the world's most inept secret agent, one who must take on a nefarious villain after all the other agents are deemed dead - thanks to Atkinson's stunning ineptness.
That John Malkovich plays the baddie and pop-star Natalie Imbruglia plays the long-suffering gal pal is pretty much all you need to know, plot-wise. Because Johnny English isn't really about "plot" one way or the other; it's about plunking Atkinson down in a series of oddball phyiscal gags and clueless fish-out-of-water scenarios. Some work quite well while several don't - which still puts Johnny English ahead of dreck like The Master of Disguise and Anger Management.
Simply put, this one's a relatively bland and intermittently amusing 90-some minutes. Fans of the English comedian should obviously find much more to like, as will pre-teens who get the giggles from his broad physical schtick. It ain't awful and it sure ain't great; it just is.I suspect the film would be more successful were it not for the trio of Austin Powers flicks, movies which spoof the spy genre on a more consistent basis. But the Austins clearly aren't intended for kids under twelve, which makes Johnny English a suitable replacement.