Time: 89 Minutes
Age Rating: Violence & coarse language
Rowan Atkinson as Johnny English
Olga Kurylenko as Ophelia
Ben Miller as Angus Bough
Adam James as Pegasus
Emma Thompson as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Pippa Bennett-Warner as Lesley
Jake Lacy as Jason
Director: David Kerr
The new adventure begins when a cyberattack reveals the identities of all active undercover agents in Britain, leaving Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson) as the secret service’s last hope. Called out of retirement, English dives headfirst into action with the mission to find the mastermind hacker. As a man with few skills and analogue methods, Johnny English must overcome the challenges of modern technology to make this mission a success.
It’s been so long since I’ve watched the first two Johnny English movies. They aren’t by any means great comedies but they were comedies that I found funny nonetheless. Johnny English is pretty much to Britain what Maxwell Smart is to America and Inspector Clouseau is to France. Now finally the third movie has come, 7 years after the second movie, which came 8 years after the first movie (never understood the big gap between the movies). Johnny English Strikes Again does pretty much the same thing as the first two movies and if you’re on board with them, you’ll be on board with this movie as well, I certainly was.
If you’ve watched any of the Johnny English movies, you know exactly what kind of movie you’ll be getting with the third movie. It’s full of slapstick humour and the “dumb guy who’s somehow ends up saving the day, often accidently” kind of humour (it’s probably called something else much more eloquent) and it once again works well here (at least for me it did). Johnny English 3 has a lot of jokes that you’d expect, not really doing anything you haven’t seen before. There are often times where you can easily identify the setups and payoffs, you can tell whenever English is going to mess up hilariously or something of the sort. It isn’t an unpredictable comedy, not particularly well written or smart. However, a lot of comedies aren’t well written or smart and yet this one can succeed when others really don’t. I had a good time with it but it’s not very memorable. Nonetheless I had an entertaining time watching it. This movie is less than an hour and 30 minutes long and that was honestly the right length for the movie, it doesn’t ever feel like it’s going to be too long.
Rowan Atkinson once again really shines in this movie as Johnny English, he hasn’t lost the energy that he displayed in the previous movies. He is by far the best part of the movie, and I think that even people who don’t like this movie can at least give credit to him for putting absolutely everything into his comedic delivery and performance. The rest of the cast do fine enough, with Olga Kurylenko, Ben Miller, Emma Thompson and others doing well in their roles. However, it is clear that Johnny English Strikes Again is really Atkinson’s show.
The direction by David Kerr was reasonably okay, for a comedy it serves it’s purpose well enough. The CGI can be pretty cheap a lot of the time, most of the time though the movie doesn’t really need to use much of it, so it’s a pretty small complaint to be had.
If you liked the other Johnny English movies, you’re going to like the 3rd one. If you don’t like them, stay away from this movie because you’ll just dislike it just as much (if not more). If you haven’t seen any of them, watch the original Johnny English, and see how you feel about it. As someone who likes the previous movies however, I really enjoyed it. No, it’s not special or very memorable compared to some other comedies but it keeps everything simple enough, and it is funny from start to finish.