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Action -Spies, Comedy - Family

Johnny English Strikes Again (2018)

Duration1h 38m
RatingsUK: PG, USA: PG, Denmark: 7 
Source of storyA story based on the characters in the first two films. Some have said that the plot is identical to that in the first film.  
DirectorDavid Kerr
Writers/ScriptWilliam Davies
StarringKevin Eldon, Emma Thompson, Rowan Atkinson, Michael Gambon, Charles Dance, Edward Fox, Ben Miller, Olga Kurylenko, Pauline McLynn, Vicki Pepperdine, Jake Lacy
RatingsIMDb: 6.2/10 by 72,400 people .  Rotten Tomatoes: 37% by 109 reviewers. Review2view: 8/10.

Elevator Pitch: When all of Britain’s MI7 agents are exposed due to internet hacking, it is necessary to call out the old timers,, including Johnny English who is now geography teacher in an English prep school. Johnny accidentally incapacitates the other possible candidates for the job and so, with his former assistant Bough, drive off to the south of France in an Aston Martin, to investigate, finding that the source of the hack may be the yacht Dot Calm, owned by tech billionaire Jason Volta. On the yacht is a Russian spy, Ophelia Bhuletova whon eventually joins forces with Johnny as they follow Volta to a G12 conference in a Scottish castle. Volta is threatening to destroy the internet. Can they stop him?

Content:  No sex or nudity although English accidentally drops his pants at a press conference. There is drinking and Johnny takes a drug at one point making him hyperactive, resulting in him dancing frantically in a nightclub.  The luxury yacht features, our spys climbing up the hull in magnetic boots. Back in the MI7 headquarters Johnny is given a trial of a virtual reality headset to familiarise him with the villain’s mansion, but he accidentally steps off the moving floor and moves about in the real world hitting people randomly. He and Bough pretend to be waiters in a French restaurant and in the finale are required to infiltrate the G12 summit in the Scottish castle.

A View: Perhaps I am reverting to childhood, because I found this outing hilarious and I’m laughing even as I write this review. There were, I thought, some sly references to real spy films. One of the spys in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” was a school teacher at  prep school, and the stealing of a car in which a woman is learning to drive seemed to me like a reference to a scene in “Live and Let Die”. The virtual reality headset sketch was incredibly ingenious. Even though the CGI was a bit doubtful and the Scottish castle was variously presented I forgave the failings because it was so much fun. Rowan Atkinson’s last outing as Johnny English I should think, so catch it while you can.Other spy spoofs, difficult to do since James Bond is already a spoof, reviewed on this site include Johnny English, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and I Spy.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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