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Review: Johnny English Strikes Again


Admittedly, the first two Johnny English movies weren’t great movies, but I enjoyed both of them for a multitude of reasons. They’re not what anyone would consider wonderful pieces of art, but they’re amusing and humorous in their own way. That’s one of the things that pulls me back to these movies when they’re released. Johnny English Strikes Again has that same quality. This, and its short run time allows for everything to come together to make this a quick and easy ride through the preposterous world of comedic espionage.

The United Kingdom finds itself in peril once again when MI7’s security is breached and all of their agents on the field have been exposed. The only way they can find the perpetrator is to bring a former agent out of retirement back into the fold. After careful consideration, the head of MI7 is left with only one option really. He must bring in Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson) to come in and save the day once again. Along with Bough (Ben Miller), his former partner, English must wade through the various dangers of new technology and bring justice and security back to his homeland.

Although just about everything in Johnny English Strikes Again is familiar, I found myself laughing quite a bit at what was given to us. In fact, I actually laughed more this time around than I did in either of the first two movies. I didn’t necessarily believe that was possible since movies that come in a series usually get worse over time. In this case, that isn’t actually true since it manages to be funnier while also staying true to what came before it.

There are probably a number of people who haven’t seen the first two anyway. These have been released years a part, so that’s understandable. Luckily, you don’t actually need to watch the first two in order to get into this one. The reason for that is because with the exception of a couple of things, this is the kind of movie that stands on its own. That’s mostly because it features a new mission to go along with an almost completely new cast of characters surrounding the lead.

If you’ve seen Johnny English and Johnny English Reborn, you’ll notice that what I said earlier is true about the third installment bringing familiar aspects to the table. While that’s true, it also manages to be similar to other spy movies we’ve seen plenty of times over the years. Of course, the difference is that it just has a comedic spin on all of it. You have the usual tropes that you’ll recognize just like you did in its two predecessors, but instead of the likes of James Bond or Jason Bourne handling things, you’re getting Johnny English managing to bumble his way around missions.

This is mostly where you get the reactions from. This is not the usual form of comedy I go for, but Johnny English works in my mind for some reason. They’re unsophisticated and simple jokes, but they are funnier than I usually anticipate. That’s one reason why I’ll probably watch more of these if they decide to keep making them. If not, I had a good time on this long-winded journey that dates all the way back to 2003.

If you found any sort of value in the first two movies in the trilogy and know what to expect ahead of time, you should give Johnny English Strikes Again a chance. They don’t do anything special or make any of this too memorable, but it’s fun and only hopes to provide a decent source of entertainment for those of us who are interested. I can see the other side of the argument for those who don’t like these as much as I do, but the people behind these movies never have and probably never will get too many complaints out of me.

Rating: PG

Director: David Kerr

Rowan Atkinson
Ben Miller
Olga Kurylenko
Jake Lacy
Emma Thompson

Film Length: 88 minutes

Release Date: October 26, 2018

Distributor: Universal Pictures

  • 6.5/10
    Score - 6.5/10
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