JOHNNY ENGLISH

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Release Date: July 18, 2003

Starring: Rowan Atkinson, John
Malkovich, Ben Miller, Natalie
Imbruglia, and Douglass
McFerrin

Genre: Comedy/Spy Spoof

Audience: Older children to
adults REVIEWER: Jan
Stallones “The word mistake,
sir, is not one that appears
in my dictionary.” When you
hear that from Rowan Atkinson,
TV’s MR. BEAN, you just know
you’re in for a fun, summer
ride. Atkinson plays Johnny
English, a third rate British
spy, in this silly, and
genuinely funny, movie, JOHNNY
ENGLISH. The story is largely
predictable: bad guy Pascal
Sauvage (John Malchovich) has
a diabolical (and far-fetched)
plot to doom England. All of
England’s top spies are
wiped out, so our man English
must rise to the occasion and
save crown and country. Of
course, English, who is a
marvelous mix of Inspector
Clouseau, Agent James Bond,
and Maxwell Smart, sees the
danger no one else sees and
must get his man and convince
his boss that he’s on the
right track. JOHNNY ENGLISH
spoofs all the classic spy
movie elements: the car chase,
the beautiful and mysterious
counter-spy, the faithful and
capable assistant, the
gadgets, and, of course, the
Aston Martin supercar. Even
though the viewer can see many
of the gags coming a mile
away, they are pulled off with
great skill. Atkinson’s
expressive face and physical
humor deliver them perfectly.
Some of Atkinson’s antics
elicit mild giggles, others
are truly hilarious, including
a rather unforgettable car
chase and a case of mistaken
serums. His Bond-esque raised
eyebrow is priceless. JOHNNY
ENGLISH contains elements of
deception and defying
authority. English often lies
to get out of trouble and
defies orders to get his man,
but he’s also very
patriotic, persistent, and
loves to make jokes about the
French. There are also some
scenes of brief action
violence in JOHNNY ENGLISH as
spies meet spies, but none of
these scenes is particularly
brutal or bloody, and many are
comic. English’s love
interest, Lorna Campbell
(Natalie Imbruglia), adds a
little sizzle and innuendo to
the plot. “Have you made
love to many women?” she
asks English. “One does
one’s best,” English
brags, but his startled
expression and, at first,
baffled reaction to her
question couches the innuendo
in comedy. Nevertheless, the
sexual content will be clear
to older children. There is
also some crude bathroom humor
as English decides to enter a
building via a pipe that turns
out to lead to some toilets in
the men’s room. You can
imagine the result. Finally,
one of the villain’s
henchman has the words,
“Jesus is coming; look
busy” tattooed on his lower
back, which leads to a major
joke later on in the movie.
Also, English mistakes the
Archbishop of Canterbury for
someone else. These elements
seem to be anti-Christian and
offensive in a mocking sort of
way, but two scenes in the
movie, one set at a funeral
and one set at a coronation
ceremony, contain positive
Christian references. English
slides in and out of being
smooth and then abruptly
bumbling in a way that makes
him quite charming. John
Malkovich is funny as the
evil, smirking French villain,
but could have taken that
villainy a bit further for
more comic effect. Also, his
character is another greedy,
maniacal businessman, an
anti-capitalist cliché. All
in all, however, JOHNNY
ENGLISH is a nice oasis of
silliness and fairly clean
summer fun, especially for
those who avoid AUSTIN POWERS
for its crassness and
vulgarity. Please address your
comments to: Stacey Snider,
Chairman Universal
Pictures Ron Meyer,
President/COO Universal
Studios 100 Universal City
Plaza Universal City, CA
91608-1085 Phone: (818)
777-1000 Web Page:
www.universalstudios.com

Rating: PG

Runtime: 88 minutes

Distributor: Universal Pictures

Director: Peter Howitt

Executive Producer:

Producer: Tim Beran, Eric Fellner, and
Mark Huffman

Writer: William Davies, Neal Purvis,
and Robert Wade

Address Comments To:

Content:

(BB, PP, Acap, Ab, C, L, V, S, N, A, D, M) Moral worldview with highly patriotic protagonist as well as anti-capitalist element where villain is a greedy, wealthy businessman, and a few anti-Christian jokes where criminal has “Jesus is coming; look busy” tattooed on his lower back and where hero mistakes Anglican archbishop for someone else, mixed with serious, positive Christian elements at a funeral and in a coronation ceremony; five obscenities, two light profanities, and bathroom humor about feces where man climbs pipe tunnel that leads to toilets; light action violence and comic violence none bloody, such as car chase, gunfire, pratfalls, fighting, and man threatens pet dog with gun; very light suggestive banter between hero and his love interest; rear male nudity used for comic effect and brief female cleavage, including one scene where man accidentally falls on heavy woman’s bosom; a few scenes of social drinking at parties; comic scenes of characters being drugged with muscle relaxant and truth serum; and, main character lies a lot to get out of trouble.

GENRE: Comedy/Spy Spoof

BB

PP

Acap

Ab

C

L

V

S

N

A

D

M

Summary:

JOHNNY ENGLISH is a delightfully silly summer comedy starring Rowan Atkinson, Mr. Bean, in the title role, as a bumbling spy clerk who gets the chance to be England’s number one secret agent when the Crown Jewels are stolen. Fans of James Bond, Inspector Clouseau, and Maxwell Smart, and those who would like a cleaner AUSTIN POWERS movie, may love this genial spoof, which, however, contains a few obscenities, brief toilet humor, and other light objectionable content.

Review:

“The word mistake, sir, is not one that appears in my dictionary.” When you hear that from Rowan Atkinson, TV’s MR. BEAN, you just know you’re in for a fun, summer ride. Atkinson plays Johnny English, a third rate British spy, in this silly, and genuinely funny, movie, JOHNNY ENGLISH. The story is largely predictable: bad guy Pascal Sauvage (John Malchovich) has a diabolical (and far-fetched) plot to doom England. All of England’s top spies are wiped out, so our man English must rise to the occasion and save crown and country. Of course, English, who is a marvelous mix of Inspector Clouseau, Agent James Bond, and Maxwell Smart, sees the danger no one else sees and must get his man and convince his boss that he’s on the right track.

JOHNNY ENGLISH spoofs all the classic spy movie elements: the car chase, the beautiful and mysterious counter-spy, the faithful and capable assistant, the gadgets, and, of course, the Aston Martin supercar. Even though the viewer can see many of the gags coming a mile away, they are pulled off with great skill. Atkinson’s expressive face and physical humor deliver them perfectly. Some of Atkinson’s antics elicit mild giggles, others are truly hilarious, including a rather unforgettable car chase and a case of mistaken serums. His Bond-esque raised eyebrow is priceless.

JOHNNY ENGLISH contains elements of deception and defying authority. English often lies to get out of trouble and defies orders to get his man, but he’s also very patriotic, persistent, and loves to make jokes about the French. There are also some scenes of brief action violence in JOHNNY ENGLISH as spies meet spies, but none of these scenes is particularly brutal or bloody, and many are comic. English’s love interest, Lorna Campbell (Natalie Imbruglia), adds a little sizzle and innuendo to the plot. “Have you made love to many women?” she asks English. “One does one’s best,” English brags, but his startled expression and, at first, baffled reaction to her question couches the innuendo in comedy. Nevertheless, the sexual content will be clear to older children. There is also some crude bathroom humor as English decides to enter a building via a pipe that turns out to lead to some toilets in the men’s room. You can imagine the result. Finally, one of the villain’s henchman has the words, “Jesus is coming; look busy” tattooed on his lower back, which leads to a major joke later on in the movie. Also, English mistakes the Archbishop of Canterbury for someone else. These elements seem to be anti-Christian and offensive in a mocking sort of way, but two scenes in the movie, one set at a funeral and one set at a coronation ceremony, contain positive Christian references.

English slides in and out of being smooth and then abruptly bumbling in a way that makes him quite charming. John Malkovich is funny as the evil, smirking French villain, but could have taken that villainy a bit further for more comic effect. Also, his character is another greedy, maniacal businessman, an anti-capitalist cliché.

All in all, however, JOHNNY ENGLISH is a nice oasis of silliness and fairly clean summer fun, especially for those who avoid AUSTIN POWERS for its crassness and vulgarity.

Please address your comments to:

Stacey Snider, Chairman

Universal Pictures

Ron Meyer, President/COO

Universal Studios

100 Universal City Plaza

Universal City, CA 91608-1085

Phone: (818) 777-1000

Web Page: www.universalstudios.com

SUMMARY: JOHNNY ENGLISH is a delightfully silly summer comedy starring Rowan Atkinson, Mr. Bean, in the title role, as a bumbling spy clerk who gets the chance to be England’s number one secret agent when the Crown Jewels are stolen. Fans of James Bond, Inspector Clouseau, and Maxwell Smart, and those who would like a cleaner AUSTIN POWERS movie, may love this genial spoof, which, however, contains a few obscenities, brief toilet humor, and other light objectionable content.

In Brief: