Johnny English Strikes Again movie cast: Rowan Atkinson, Ben Miller, Olga Kurylenko, Emma Thompson, Jake Lacy
Johnny English Strikes Again movie director: David Kerr
Johnny English Strikes Again movie rating: 3 stars
The jokes don’t matter, only one joke does. In this age of hypernationalism, when one such exercise has landed Britain with Brexit, Johnny English has a laugh at all that is British — while bad old Moscow isn’t all that bad. For those reasons alone, let’s applaud this exercise.
This time around, it brings Rowan Atkinson’s Johnny English back into the thick of MI7 action after a cyber attacker starts disabling Britain, one service by next. English is dusted off from retirement, which finds him employed as a school ‘geography teacher’, after the attacker exposes the identities of all existing British spies. To be fair, English isn’t the first choice, but the other three ex-spies (played hilariously and fleetingly by Michael Gambon, Charles Dance and Edward Fox) are rendered incapacitated.
Chaos runs loose as English, with aide Buff (Miller) in tow, is set loose upon Europe in the chase of the cyber attacker. One of the people the two run up against is Ophelia, played by the beautiful Kurylenko, who remains disappointingly underused.
Meanwhile, back in England, the Prime Minister (Thompson), fighting falling ratings ahead of a looming election, is assiduously wooing boy wonder Jason Volta (Lacy), whose tech expertise has the Silicon Valley eating out of his hands. The PM, dressed in reds and purples, wouldn’t mind joining that queue.
A lesser spy than English can figure this one out. A lesser comic than Atkinson would also let this film down. But in his hands, in Lacy’s uncomplainingly brave sidekick act, in Thompson’s charming turn as the clueless PM heading into what shall remain the most-disastrous G12 Summit ever, and in the film’s running theme of old school vs new tech, Johnny English does strike again.
P.S: The Pakistan representative is at the G12 Summit. In an embroidered bandhgala. Smiling big.