Rowan Atkinson is a genuinely
funny comedian, who hasn't yet developed as much recognition
in the states as he has in England, but hopefully one day that'll
change. He's most known for his physical comedy, but he's a
great comedian in all aspects.
In the film,
Atkinson plays Johnny English, an inept agent who's England's last
hope after the other agents get killed in an explosion. His
assignment? He must track down the stolen jewels from
the Tower of London and capture the fiend who stole them.
That fiend turns out to be a slimy Frenchman (John Malkovich), who
desires to take over the throne as King of England.
This is a
very funny, though uneven, slapstick comedy. It's not
brilliant, with lags where the jokes simply fall flat, but
what made me grateful about this movie is there are a few
absolutely hilarious moments that reminded me of how I used to
laugh at the movies. I'm talking actually belly laughs!
I'm not totally dissing today's comedies. Some have
made me laugh out loud, but it's been a while since I saw a
comedy with real belly laughs that gave me hiccups and sent
tears to my eyes.
One of those
gags is a true classic, a car chase scene where Atkinson and
his buddy confiscate a truck, which is carrying a car in the back.
Atkinson gets into the car, and asks his buddy who's driving the
truck, to lower the car onto the street. Cars rush by, and
he yells at his buddy to lift the car back up. As the truck
goes faster and faster, Atkinson gets queasy as he's
still in the car, getting swung around like crazy. If they
were ever to compile a retrospective of classic comic moments
in film, that scene should definitely make the cut!
complained about the casting of Natalie Imbruglia as English's
love interest. I think she did a good job, and her
performance didn't bother me one bit. I guess since she's a
music star people are predestined to mock her performance.
Was she great? No. But this isn't exactly a Merchant
Ivory film. She wasn't given something very challenging.
Then again, maybe I was just impressed by how hot she looks in
this movie. John Malkovich takes a stab at broad comedy (at
least I think this is his first attempt) and succeeds with flying
colors. He's obviously having a lot of fun, using a horribly
phony French accent.
Rowan Atkinson and fans of good comedy in general should check out
this movie. The overall film is not a comic masterpiece, but
there are moments of comic brilliance, which is saying a lot more
than you think. Another great thing about watching a comedy
like this is being surrounded by laughter. When I went to
see the movie, people were laughing their heads off and having
just as good a time as I was. That's what the filmgoing
experience is all about
-- Matt (
3 out of 4 pops )
about this film with other Popkorn Junkies