|Johnny English (2003)
Starring: Rowan Atkinson, John Malkovich, Ben Miller
Director: Peter Howitt
Bean, Mr. Bean. Comic genius Rowan Atkinson is back on the big screen in his second major motion picture "Johnny English," a simple and carefree spoof on the suave endeavors of secret agents like James Bond. The film is only semi-entertaining, though, because it's not exactly performed or written to the full extent of Atkinson's talent.
Johnny English (Atkinson) is a nobody in the spy world, but after every other British agent is killed in a freak bombing, he is the only one left to be assigned to protect the Royal Jewels during their restorative unveiling. When the Jewels are predictably stolen, English must embark on a mission along with his sidekick Bough (Ben Miller) to get them back. Unfortunately, the man he believes has stolen them is a French entrepreneur named Pascal Sauvage (John Malkovich), the closest heir to the Royal throne and a well-respected figure in the political world.
The story is quite simple and the short 90-minute runtime flies by. Atkinson is one quirky dude, and a lot of the jokes don't work, but when he's left alone with the camera the guy can often work wonders. Even though "Johnny English" introduces a completely different character than his normal gig, in many ways it still feels like the Bean everyone knows and loves. It has no special effects, little star power and only a handful of laughs, but fans of Mr. Bean should nonetheless enjoy Atkinson in this secret-agent role.