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Rowan Atkinson is back in action once again as Johnny English, the international spy that causes more trouble than he fixes on his escapades to save the world. With English’s return, comes director Oliver Parker and writers William Davies, and Hamish McColl in this movie about a man who laughs in the face of danger.
Rowan Atkinson is best known for his comedic roles as Mr. Bean, a strange man who falls into many awkward situations along his journeys. His most recent movie was Mr. Bean’s Holiday, a film about Mr. Bean’s accidental adventure with a boy separated from his father and how he finds true love. Atkinson’s characters are mostly known for their expressive features–wide eyes and a small closed mouth– and their sticky situations. So with English hitting the screen once again the question is will the clumsy agent save the world for a second time?
Johnny English Reborn follows the secret agent eight years after his mission shown in the original movie. English was living in a cave after a mission went wrong in Mozambique. Since the mission, he lived in an abandoned cave in Tibet, filled with bugs and self-doubt. A head monk of a local monastery decides to train English so he can save the world once more. MI-7 (a spoof on English secret service MI-6) reaches out to English after his training for a new mission.
Three Southeast Asian countries have developed nuclear arms as well as an assassination plot to kill the Chinese Premier. So, English must save the Premier while making sure China sides with England and not the rogue nations.
The director Oliver Parker is best known for his 2009 movie Dorian Grey and Othello, but is also known for his comedies like The Importance of Being Earnest, and The Ideal Husband. Mixing drama and comedy is hard but it seems like Parker has his feet wet in both genres. His comedies might not be a big hit in the box office so with the job of directing Johnny English, it will really put his skills to the test as an action/comedy director.
The writer Hamish McColl has written two major features both for Rowan’s characters. The first was Mr. Bean’s Vacation and Johnny English Reborn now being his second. McColl has mainly acted in shorts like Going Going and Knit Your Own Karma but with a charming script for Mr. Bean’s Holiday and with a similar feel, McColl can most likely pull off Johnny English Reborn easily.
Perhaps better known is William Davis, who has written about 15 scripts, including How To Train Your Dragon, Flushed Away, and the original Johnny English. Working Title Films recently released a Q&A with McColl about his work on Johnny English Reborn. Hamish said that he has worked on and off on the script for sometime but had done most of the work last year for it.
When he writes McColl says that he has Johnny English’s voice in his head, “I hear his voice very clearly. For me, that’s essential, you know… it’s that classic thing that if you took away the character slug, you would still know who was speaking by the way that they were speaking” McColl said.
Johnny English did not do well in the box office in America and got a 43 percent on Rotten Tomatoes between the Top Critics. However it did gross more than $100 million from its $40 million budget. With a bad track record, it seems like the original was the last of the franchise but with its new writers, Johnny English has been revamped and being released this August 18th.
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