Johnny English Strikes Again is the third entry in the Johnny English film series. I genuinely enjoyed the second one, so going into this movie, I was interested in seeing more spy antics. Unfortunately, this ﬁlm disappoints with a predictable plot and several ﬂat jokes.
The movie follows Johnny English, a retired spy teaching a Geography class when he gets called back by MI7 to assist in tracking down a powerful hacker. This hacker is accessing all the systems and wreaking havoc, only being called upon as the other MI7 agents have all been compromised.
The plot is a bit slow to get oﬀ the ground, but it’s well structured, having a good pace throughout the ﬁlm. The same can’t be said for the story itself. It lacks any serious character development, and the big twist villain is predictable as soon as we meet the character
The jokes, a majority of the time, do land and will cause a laugh. However, there are many jokes which do not work and the jokes that don’t work really don’t work. The ﬁlm also has a lack of jokes compared to the previous ﬁlm, instead focusing more on the story and the characters. With such disappointment in the story, the lack of jokes just makes it worse.
Rowan Atkinson as Johnny English plays as wonderful as you’d expect him too. He really convinces you that he’s a bumbling spy and he plays the sense of confusion wonderfully. The same can’t be said for Jake Lacy as Jason Volta. He plays everything rather ﬂatly and lacks any intimidation that you’d want the villain to play. Olga Kurylenko and Ben Miller, as Ophelia and Jeremy Bough respectively, do the best they can with the writing they were given and play it decently enough that it doesn’t drag you out of the ﬁlm.
For a big action spy thriller, there’s a surprisingly limited amount of special eﬀects. But when they do appear, they’re either well done, like in the case of the Exoskeleton, or done absolutely poorly, as in the case of the virtual reality section (though the jokes carry do it through).
The film is an average movie. Atkinson’s acting and the jokes work well most of the time, but the writing seriously hurts the ﬁlm. I’d also like to mention the overabundance of product placement; it’s littered everywhere throughout this ﬁlm. From the ﬁrst minute, several products have already been shoved in your face. Overall, I’d only recommend this movie if you’re a die-hard fan of Rowan Atkinson or the Johnny English movies. If you are, you might enjoy this movie; but for everyone else, I don’t recommend it.
Director | David Kerr
Producer | Rowen Atkinson, Chris Clark, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Rafaël Benoliel
Writer | William Davies