Johnny English (2003)
The star of Bean is now Her Majesty's most trusted secret agent
Mr Bean as a spy? This has got to be good. Sometimes you aren't in a serious enough mood for a heavy duty spy movie like James Bond, so why not take a peek into what the best of British intelligence has to offer? Well, now that I mentioned it, will this movie bumble it's adorable way into our hearts, or will our brains wonder how our intelligence just disappeared in such a tuxedo clad way?
Johnny English is a spy working for British intelligence. Now, when I say he's a spy I really mean he's more of a desk jockey helping out the spies - until now. Number One has a bit of an accident on his latest mission out, leaving some big shoes to fill for the other spies. Rather, he would, if they all hadn't just died in an explosion at his funeral. Still, someone needs to figure out the big lead One was on, and beggars can't be choosers, so Johnny English finds himself with a bit of a promotion on his hands.
From the depths of his fantasies, English is loving life. Everyone around English, on the other hand, finds themselves in danger as he's quite the bumbling spy and frequently finds himself making the wrong calls or accidentally darting people with the wrong serums. Even then, he's the only man to be put on the case, and so protecting the crown jewels is placed in his hand - until he fails that. Now English must find the thieves and rescue the crown jewels! Except he really isn't very good at that either.
Adding to his vast misfortune as the human blumber-nado, English has a sneaking suspicion that the rather important frenchman is behind things, but is having a hard time finding proof. Even as that trouble is happening, English comes across a sexy mysterious female to distract him. Could she be involved in the heist? Why would anyone steal the crown jewels? Will anyone survive interacting with English?
The plot isn't anything particularly crazy for a spy flick. The main difference from your average movie of the spy type is the fact that English is very much Mr Bean with more dialogue- clumsy, somewhat unlucky, and overall succeeding usually only through dumb chance. Classic spy elements exist - such as sneaking, evil plots, the sexy lady, and gadgets - but there isn't a whole lot added to the formula as a whole.
Acting is done quite well across the board, with some over-exaggerations coming from the comedy side of things. Our bumbling spy is incredibly bumbling - to the extent it's either a miracle or mental problem that everyone around him doesn't seem to realize how incompetent he is - but at the same time comes off mostly likeable (although I'm sure some will find themselves getting tired off it before the end). Our supporting characters come off feeling a bit dumber (in intelligence) than our lead - mostly because they don't see how bad he is at his job - but it's something that's necessary in order for the slapstick styled nature of the laughs to work, and even the somewhat stereotype-feeling frenchman feels as though he's exactly as he should.
Humor is generally slapstick, and that will make a large difference to most people as to if they want to watch it or not. If you can't stand watching something like Mr Bean you won't enjoy this - an example you ask? While eating at a sushi place with a conveyor, English gets his tie stuck in it and proceeds to bowl over or otherwise inconvenience all the other customers. It's particularly hit or miss, but also has some action and a decent enough plot to hold it together for those who aren't as much a fan of the humor. Nothing fancy for costumes or soundtrack this run around.
So what's the verdict on this guy? Well, it's not bad really but also nothing super-stand out. If you ever had the hankering to see what Mr Bean would be like as a spy, then this is pretty much tailor made for you. If you don't like that kind of "bumbling" humor then you won't enjoy this one nearly as much because of it. It's got some good actors, and the plot is pretty good, so really making a call on this is about as easy as seeing if you enjoy the trailer or not.