When a “national crisis” arises and all the agents of MI7 are killed but one, Johnny English is reluctantly, understandably, put on the mission to save the Crown Jewels of England. ‘Johnny English’ is a light-hearted action movie based on “a fool that keeps showing up” trying to save his country, unsuccessful in many ways.
One of the best aspects of this film is that it is the legend Mr Bean himself, Rowan Atkinson. Personally, I believe the film wouldn’t be nearly as good without Rowan Atkinson, he perfectly executes the humour of the character, and the agent comes to life. English is a character who is clumsy, referred to as an “idiot”; but he still tries to save his country and no matter how much goes wrong, he tries again. The opposite of Johnny English’s personality is Bough (Ben Miller), his sidekick, the more sensible one, that without Bough, English would be more than a lost puppy. However, the power dynamic is that Johnny English is above Bough, so Bough’s constant referring to English as “sir” adds more comedy because clearly English is the reason for many of the things going wrong, yet Bough believes whatever he says.
This film is predominantly comedy, although there is action in the film, but I would definitely class it as a comedy rather than an action-based film. The humour is very obvious humour, it’s sometimes ironic, but it’s also silly situations you just know Johnny English is going to get himself into. It is just stupid, silly comedy, like saying “I am always careful” then bumping his head, very obvious and ironic; this humour is repeated throughout the film. Some scenes are a bit too overboard for me, for example climbing up a sewage pipe is more gross than hilarious to me, but then again having a load of poo chucked on someone might be other’s humour, I don’t know. Although, I still find the film comical, mainly because of Rowan Atkinson’s character’s personality, of his many mistakes, over-cleverness thinking and ironic mishaps.
Additionally, the comedy is shown through the music, the over-dramatic music to make it feel over-exaggerated. But also the music of the continuing use of Abba, which is a controversy to an action film as Abba isn’t exactly dangerous music, yet happier, dancing music. Furthermore, the camera is key to adding this comedy, for example the restriction of an element for a couple of seconds to be shown slightly later to contradict what Johnny English has said. The audience very much knows more than the characters do on the screen, this also adds to the comedy. The humour probably is for certain people, some people might find it just stupid, so it might be an acquired taste, but it’s just so ridiculous it’s hilarious to me.
‘Johnny English’ is appropriate for children, so there are no twists in the plot, and of course goodies and baddies are defined from the beginning. So don’t be expecting some massive shocking ending or thinking of who stole the crown jewels throughout the film, you are told straight away. This adds to the humour though, as you get the insights of the baddies, not only the goodies. The baddy in this film being sarcastic, yet brilliant acted by John Malkovich. The film is also quite short, about an hour and twenty minutes, but as I’ve said before I prefer films that are shorter because I find there are less boring scenes and it makes them an easy watch. This is also because the film is a PG so appropriate for children, I can imagine some children would become more fidgety and bored in say a two and a half hour film.
If you’re looking for a light-hearted comical film, that involves accidental darts fired at an assistance or an agent ranting about how the bad guy broke in when there’s a massive hole behind him, then you would definitely enjoy this film. The film is just a repetitive plot of things that are just not going well for poor Johnny English, but he tries. He just wants to save England.