Genre: Spy Action-Adventure Spoof/Sequel
Starring: Rowan Atkinson, Rosamund Pike, Gillian Anderson, Dominic West, Stephen Campbell-Moore and Tim McInnerny.
Running Time: 98 mins approx.
Seen At: Didsbury.
On: Wednesday, 19th October, 2011.
The spy genre is certainly a varied one. From Bond, to BBC One’s Spooks to Robert Rodriguez’s Spy Kids to the outstanding Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – a box-office smash earlier this year.
At the other end of the spectrum is of course good old spoofery, in the shape of Rowan Atkinson’s inept, bumbling spy – MI7’s Johnny English.
A full eight years after his first adventure, this time he’s in locations as diverse as London, Switzerland and Hong Kong.
This film, whilst silly, infantile, wildly over-the-top and just not as hilarious as it could and should have been (considering it’s directed by Oliver Parker), is at least marginally funnier than the original, thanks to its more streamlined, linear structure, as opposed to the former’s rather episodic pratfalls.
The caliber of the supporting cast this time around is also a vast improvement. Refreshingly, all playing it absolutely straight are the likes of Dominic West, Gillian Anderson and, an actual former Bond-girl from Die Another Day, Rosamund Pike – as English’s beautiful love interest. It’s also great to see a classically-trained actor like the brilliant Dominic West have some fun as Ambrose, the dastardly double-agent.
The gags this time are, as you might expect predominantly visual, with all manner of jokes involving cats flying out of windows, helicopters cruising along motorways, wrongful application of lipstick, painful training devices and Chinese killer-cleaners.
It does have a very funny sequence involving a super-speed wheelchair, but otherwise, distinctly average.
Rating: * * *