Johnny English Strikes Again


Johnny English Strikes Again ★★ 1/2

If I told you that this is the third Johnny English movie, would you believe me? To be honest, I’ve seen all three of these spy spoofs starring rubber-faced Brit Rowan Atkinson, but even I’ve forgotten most of the events in 2003’s simply titled Johnny English and its sequel, 2011’s Johnny English Reborn. Still, director David Kerr’s latest entry made me chuckle more than I expected. Not outright belly laughs, but there are certainly minor pleasures to be had from watching a set-piece methodically unfold within a posh seaside restaurant that will soon be set ablaze due to our secret agent’s inability to convincingly perform undercover as a French waiter. In other words, if you expect a handful of gags on the level of the later Pink Panther entries, then you’re bound to enjoy yourself. And while Atkinson’s bumbling anti-Bond is no match for his Edmund Blackadder (or even Inspector Jacques Clouseau), it’s still fun to watch him flirt embarrassingly with Olga Kurylenko, who joins Johnny English Reborn’s Rosamund Pike as a former Bond girl who has great fun sending up her earlier fame. Oscar winner Emma Thompson adds a touch of class (and a stiff upper lip) playing Britain’s prime minister, a woman who becomes smitten with the film’s far-too-obvious villain, Jason Volta (Jake Lacy), an American tech billionaire who may have finally met his match in English, Johnny English. Sure, it’s silly fun that you might forget the moment you leave the theater, but given these tense times, that might be enough. (At Boston Common and in the suburbs.)

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