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Review: Johnny English Reborn

A small improvement
By ANN LEWINSON  |  October 18, 2011
2.5 2.5 Stars

Much has changed since Rowan Atkinson's bumbling superspy first disgraced MI7 in 2003's Johnny English. Emerging from a Tibetan monastery after a bungled operation in Mozambique, Johnny returns to find that British Intelligence has been privatized, Gillian Anderson is running the show, and like Edmund Blackadder between the first and second seasons, he's gotten a confidence makeover: he's now clumsy and suave, and it's statuesque Rosamund Pike who finds him inexplicably attractive. Like 2007's underrated Mr. Bean's Holiday, Johnny English Reborn, directed by Oliver Parker, improves on its unwatchable predecessor. Black Adder fans will appreciate Tim McInnerny as a Q who's blown off his limbs, and for the kids there's nothing funnier than a Chinese cleaning lady/assassin wielding a Hoover. But Atkinson too rarely uses his own rubbery limbs — when confronted with a chance to deploy the now-obligatory parkour, he takes the elevator.

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