Johnny English

Bomb Rating: 

Here's what I'm not clear about: Just what was going through Rowan Atkinson's mind on this thing? Or maybe Atkinson isn't entirely responsible for this film. Maybe it was the director or the screenwriters or the producer or the head of the studio, but at some point, somebody had to conclude the following: "What the world needs is another spy film spoof." Um, have any of these people heard of "Austin Powers"?

For a film rated "PG" and one that contains at least one "asshole" and nearly a "f***" right at the end, I was surprised to read that it was intended for children between the ages of 8 and 12. Add to that a scene in which agent Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson) crawls up through a toilet covered in feces, and the potential imitative nature of children becomes rather frightening. Of course, if stories of children getting their heads stuck in toilets claiming to be looking for a way out start appearing in newspapers around the world, it wouldn't be the first time.

Music fans will be pleased to learn that Natalie Imbruglia plays Lorna Campbell, another secret agent, and that she has all the screen presence of an animal carcass and looks an awful lot like Liz Hurley, which again, really invites the "Austin Powers" comparisons.

Apparently, the British are so hard up for a laugh these days that they'll pay good money to see just about anything.

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