Johnny English Reborn
Johnny English Reborn is a 2011 spy action comedy film directed by Oliver Parker and written by Hamish McColl from a story by William Davies. A sequel to Johnny English (2003) and the second installment in the Johnny English series, it is a British-American venture produced by StudioCanal, Relativity Media and Working Title Films, and distributed by Universal Pictures. The film stars Rowan Atkinson (reprising his role as the title character) alongside Gillian Anderson, Dominic West, Rosamund Pike, Daniel Kaluuya and Richard Schiff as new characters.
|Johnny English Reborn|
British release poster
|Directed by||Oliver Parker|
|Screenplay by||Hamish McColl|
|Story by||William Davies|
|Music by||Ilan Eshkeri|
|Edited by||Guy Bensley|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$160.1 million|
Much like its predecessor, the film parodies traits from the James Bond film series and clichés of the spy genre (as well as Atkinson's Mr. Bean character) and marks Atkinson and Tim McInnerny's second collaboration after the series Blackadder. Johnny English Reborn was met with mixed reviews but has grossed a total of $160 million worldwide.
The film was released in the United Kingdom on 7 October 2011, and topped the country's box office for the next two weekends, before being dethroned by Paranormal Activity 3. It was later released in North America on 21 October 2011. A sequel to the film, Johnny English Strikes Again was released in October 2018.
Seven years after the events of the first film, Johnny English has been training in martial arts in Tibet, disgraced after a failed mission to protect the newly-elected president in Mozambique, costing him his knighthood. Called back into service by MI7 under his new boss Pamela Thornton, codenamed "Pegasus", English is sent to investigate a plot to assassinate the Chinese Premier during talks with the Prime Minister. He meets fellow agent and old acquaintance Simon Ambrose, MI7's quartermaster Patch Quartermain, and junior agent Colin Tucker, English's new assistant.
In Hong Kong, English finds former CIA agent Titus Fisher, who reveals himself to be a member of Vortex, the group responsible for ruining English's Mozambique mission. He reveals Vortex holds a secret weapon unlocked by three keys, held by himself and two other former spies. Fisher is killed by an elderly assassin disguised as a maid, and an accomplice steals his key. English chases the thief and recovers the key, but is duped by another Vortex operative disguised as a flight attendant en route to London, and is humiliated in a meeting with the Foreign Secretary and Pegasus when he attempts to present the key and the conspiracy.
Kate Sumner, MI7's behavioral psychologist, uses hypnosis to help English recall his suppressed memory of the Mozambique incident, revealing another Vortex operative, Russian spy Artem Karlenko, is masquerading as millionaire Sergei Pudovkin. English and Tucker meet Karlenko at a golf course outside London, but the Killer Cleaner critically injures Karlenko. English and Tucker bring him to a hospital by helicopter, but Karlenko dies after revealing the third key is held by a mole in MI7.
Over dinner, English confides with Ambrose about the mole, and Ambrose tells English that he suspects Quartermain. Tucker confronts Ambrose about him being the traitor, but English naively dismisses Tucker and lets Ambrose go with Karlenko's key. English confronts Quartermain, but realizes Ambrose has framed him as the third Vortex member. Chased by MI7 agents, English manages to escape to Sumner's flat.
Reviewing footage of the Mozambique mission, Sumner realizes the assassin was manipulated by a mind control drug, Timoxeline Barbebutenol. Ambrose comes to pick up Sumner, and English realizes he is the mole. Evading the Killer Cleaner by jumping into a garbage chute, English apologizes to Tucker and persuades him to join in infiltrating Le Bastion, a fortress in the Swiss Alps where the talks are to be held.
At the fortress, English accidentally activates a distress beacon, alerting the guards to their presence. English commands Tucker to knock him out and put him inside a body bag so they will be taken into the fortress. Inside, English manages to escape the body bag and warns Pegasus of the threat, but accidentally consumes a drink spiked with the drug, and subdues Pegasus on Ambrose’s command.
Assigning English as the Prime Minister's bodyguard in place of Pegasus, Ambrose orders him to assassinate the Chinese Premier using a pistol disguised as lipstick, initially designed for Pegasus; English tries to resist the drug. Tucker interrupts Ambrose's communication feed before Ambrose resets it, exposing himself as the traitor. English resists again and shoots Ambrose, who escapes while the drug enters its lethal stage and English loses consciousness. Sumner arrives and revives English with a passionate kiss. English pursues Ambrose down the mountainside, and they engage in a fistfight in a cable car. English overpowers Ambrose, but falls out of the carriage. Ambrose shoots at English, who tries to use his spy umbrella as a bulletproof shield, which is revealed to be a missile launcher when he closes it. The missile destroys the carriage, killing Ambrose.
Vortex is shut down and English has his knighthood reinstated by the Queen. During the ceremony, the Killer Cleaner, disguised as the Queen, attacks English before escaping, leading English to attack the real Queen, only realizing his mistake when the assassin is caught by the royal guards.
During the credits, English prepares dinner for Sumner to the tune of "In the Hall of the Mountain King".
- Rowan Atkinson as Johnny English, an accident prone but good hearted MI7 agent.
- Gillian Anderson as Pamela Thornton a.k.a. Pegasus, head of MI7.
- Dominic West as Simon Ambrose, a MI7 agent and colleague of English; later revealed as the main antagonist, as a member of Vortex.
- Rosamund Pike as Kate Sumner, a behavioral psychologist at MI7, and English's love interest.
- Daniel Kaluuya as Colin Tucker, an MI7 agent who becomes English's assistant and sidekick in his mission.
- Richard Schiff as Titus Fisher, an ex CIA operative and member of Vortex.
- Tim McInnerny as Patch Quartermain, MI7's wheelchair user quartermaster.
- Pik-Sen Lim as The Killer Cleaner, an assassin hired by Vortex who attempts to kill English and appears variously as a grey-haired maid, Pegasus' mother, and later the Queen.
- Stephen Campbell Moore as the British Prime Minister.
- Burn Gorman as Slater, a MI7 intelligence expert who works with Ambrose and is a member of Vortex.
- Togo Igawa as Ting Wang, English's mentor in Tibet, and MI7 sleeper agent.
- Mark Ivanir as Artem Karlenko, a Russian former double agent and member of Vortex.
- Joséphine de La Baume as Madeleine, a deceivingly charming member of Vortex, responsible for luring English off his post in Mozambique.
Lily Atkinson, the daughter of Rowan Atkinson, made her cameo appearance as the girl that gets her helmet stolen by Johnny English. Ben Miller reprised his role of Angus Bough from the previous film in one scene, but was cut from the final film. He would later reprise his role as Bough in Johnny English Strikes Again.
On 28 March 2007, Atkinson confirmed on Richard & Judy that a script for a second film was being worked on. In an interview for Mr. Bean's Holiday, Atkinson also stated that there was quite a moderate chance for a sequel. On 8 April 2010, Universal Pictures announced that they were producing a sequel to Johnny English, taking place seven years following the first film.
In June 2010, it was announced that Daniel Kaluuya had been added to the cast. In July 2010, Ben Miller, who featured as the sidekick 'Bough' in Johnny English, said he had not been approached to reprise his role. On 10 July 2010, Deadline Hollywood reported that Gillian Anderson would be playing a MI7 secret agent named Pamela Head.
Filming began on 11 September 2010, in Central London at Cannon Street, with further production scheduled for the week beginning 13 September 2010, at Brocket Hall, Hertfordshire and later in Hawley Woods in Hampshire, Macau and Hong Kong.
Filming took place on The Mall, London in Central London on 25 September 2010. Filming also took place in Kent, along the A299 carriageway and Cliffs End, Ramsgate. The "Johnny English Theme" song from the original film is used four times in the score. Ben Miller, who played Bough in the previous movie, appeared, but his scenes were cut from the final film.
The car that Johnny English drives was a Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé with an experimental 9.0 litre V16 engine. There are only a few of these engines in existence, produced during tests for the Phantom Coupé, and they were not used in production models. For the production of the film, Atkinson approached the company and requested that they install one into a car, making the vehicle seen in the film unique.
Johnny English Reborn was originally going to be released on 29 July 2011. The film was then pushed back to 16 September 2011, however, it was delayed again; this time to 7 October 2011.
Johnny English Reborn was released on DVD and Blu-ray combo pack featuring the first film on 14 February 2012 in the United Kingdom, and on 28 February 2012 in North America.
Johnny English Reborn opened to an estimated $3,833,300 in its first weekend in United States and Canada. In the United Kingdom, it grossed $7,727,025, $2,628,344 in Australia, and $3,391,190 in Germany. After five weeks in release, it grossed $8,305,970 in the United States and Canada and $151,772,616 elsewhere, bringing to a total of $160,078,586.
Much like its predecessor and successor, the film received mixed reviews from critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 38% of 90 critics have given the film a positive review, with an rating average of 4.8 out of 10. The website's consensus is "Arguably a marginal improvement on its mostly forgotten predecessor, Johnny English Reborn nonetheless remains mired in broad, tired spy spoofing that wastes Rowan Atkinson's once considerable comedic talent".
Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, gives the film a score of 46 based on 20 reviews. CinemaScore polls reported that the average grade moviegoers gave the film was a "B" on an A+ to F scale.
On the Australian television programme At the Movies, Margaret Pomeranz rated the film 3 stars and David Stratton rated the film 2 stars (the highest being 5 stars). Indian film critic Nikhat Kazmi of the Times of India gave the film a positive review praising Atkinson's characteristic flair for comedy once again, giving it a 4 star rating out of 5.
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