Johnny English

Johnny English: Rowan Atkinson
Pascal Sauvage: John Malkovich
Lorna Campbell: Natalie Imbruglia
Bough: Ben Miller
Carlos Vendetta: Douglas McFerran
Pegasus: Tim Pigott-Smith
Prime Minister: Kevin McNally

Universal Pictures and StudioCanal present a film directed by Peter Howitt. Written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and William Davies. Running time: 87 minutes. Rated PG (for comic nudity, some crude humor and language).

Central Theme
A complete goofball can prevail through sincerity, determination and a lot of luck!

Rowan Atkinson, the brilliant physical comedian whose outrageous pratfalls and subversively innocent humor have made him a star in hilarious classics ranging from the cult U.K. series Black Adder to the worldwide hit Bean, is back on the big screen in the family comedy Johnny English.

When her majesty’s crown jewels are stolen by a conniving Frenchman (John Malkovich), who also plans to steal the queen’s throne, Johnny English (Atkinson), a bit unseasoned but intensely enthusiastic, is thrown onto the case. Fast cars, high tech gadgets, top secret info – Johnny can hardly believe it. He may be in over his head, but his courage and dedication are unmatched – especially after he meets double agent Lorna Campbell (Natalie Imbruglia) and discovers that falling in love makes saving the nation even more exciting.‚© Universal Pictures.

A totally predictable farce, that works comedically because of Atkinson’s comic timing and presence. There is no serious point being made in this film, but there is a subtle attack on institutions. Government incompetence is underscored and the church’s marginalization is firmly established at both a funeral, and a coronation complete with the baring of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s bottom! This is British humor in all it’s self-effacing glory and many American’s will not “get it” As Atkinson himself said recently, “A lot of American comedy involves being or appearing cool. We’re quite happy to have our sophisticated, subtle jokes, then we don’t mind making complete fools of ourselves. We’re quite happy to look daft.”

Beliefs num
–Good prevails over evil, even when justice depends on a loveable but incompetent hero.
–The Brits are good the French are evil!
–Institutions and bureaucracies are a joke.

Questions Worth Discussing num
–What are the artistic merits of this film?
–What elements common to human experience did you resonate with in this film?
–What elements in word, deed, theme or behavior created a dissonance with who you are or want to be spiritually?
–What does this film tell us about who God is? Who humans are? What we are seeking in life?
–Does the mocking of governmental and religious institutions and personalities (ie. Archbishop’s bare bottom) have an affect on the moviegoers personal views on these subjects?

Provocative Quotes byline
–I’m going to sit in the flat.
==Johnny when asked by Lorna, “What are you going to do, Johnny? Sit in this grotty flat feeling sorry for yourself, or are you going to get out there and save your country?”
–Ok, so I was wrong about the Archbishop’s bottom!
==Having bared the Archbishop’s bottom the tattoo is not there!
–I think you will find everything is more than in order, Sir. You are now entering the most secure place in the whole of England.
==Just before the explosion that kills all of Britain’s top agents.

Posted in Movies, Staublog in July 18, 2003 by | No Comments »

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