Johnny English’s value isn’t that he’s the best spy in Britain, it’s that he’s just A spy in Britain. For a third time, Rowan Atkinson (as the titular Johnny English) is charged by her Majesty’s Secret Service with protecting humanity in Johnny English Strikes Again, which arrives on Blu-ray & DVD January 22, 2019. The third installment in the series (kicked off by the original 2003’s Johnny English and followed by 2011’s Johnny English Reborn) is another adorably silly spy movie that’s fun for the whole family.
Let’s be honest. Johnny English Strikes Again is awkward, over-the-top, cringeworthy, and totally unbelievable. But hopefully, if you’re coming to watch a Johnny English movie, that’s what you’re aiming for. Keeping up with his past track record of inept and bumbling characters such as Mr. Bean, Rowan Atkinson’s Johnny English has since retired from his life as a secret agent, but a data breach exposing remaining MI7 operatives means he’s once again pulled back in to neutralize a mastermind hacker. Fortunately, returning to his side is trusty spy clerk and straight man Bough (played by Ben Miller) to form the not-so dynamic-duo to save the day.
Listen, if you’re not into cringe comedy, this movie isn’t for you. Johnny English causes almost as much mayhem through situational awkwardness as any great villainous mastermind. His ineptitude is so great that my 13-year old daughter had to leave the room. But for every person who can’t handle the cringe-worthy heat, there’s someone like my 9-year old daughter and myself who will just burn through the entire series on one Saturday. If you’ve seen the previous films, you know what to expect. However, if you’re new to the franchise, just know this: it’s no Mission Impossible. But then again, it never tries to be.
There’s plenty of explosions, high speed chases, and star power (Emma Thompson is great as the Prime Minister) to keep you entertained, but its the comedy of Rowan Atkinson that keeps you coming back for more. I have a feeling some of the technological plot points of this movie will will feel quite dated in a few years, but right now the societal takeover of a high-tech CEO is quite prescient. Who would have thought such great commentary on technology’s reach would come from a Johnny English movie? Not me.
The Blu-ray’s special features are great for deep diving into a closer look at stunts, cars, gadgets, virtual reality, and the legacy of Johnny English (Plus, I’m always a fan of director’s commentary). If you have kids, this PG-rated flick is a perfect choice for one that kids and parents can enjoy together, which is rare these days. Even if you don’t have kids, if you like light-hearted humor and an action movie that doesn’t put on heirs, give Johnny English Strikes Again a shot.
Johnny English Strikes Again is available on Blu-ray and DVD January 22, 2019. Pick up your own copy today!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the Blu-ray for review purposes. All opinions are my own.