Why on Earth is There a New “Johnny English” Movie?!

Matthew Loffhagen
Universal
(Photo: Universal)

Why are we getting a new “Johnny English” movie?

Was there some large community of die hard Rowan Atkinson fans who were calling out for a new movie?

Did “Johnny English Reborn” not ruin the franchise for everyone?

I am a fan of “Johnny English”, the original 2003 “James Bond” parody starring the actor most commonly known as Mr Bean.

The first movie is full of dumb jokes that are built around an incompetent hero who thinks he’s a lot more useful than he actually is. It’s always fun to watch these kinds of characters fail, and the movie is a beauty to behold as a result.

When “Johnny English Reborn” came out in 2011, I was there on the opening weekend.

What a disappointment.

Perhaps I’d grown up a lot over the course of nearly a decade. Maybe I just wasn’t as eager for silly comedy. Ultimately, though, the film simply wasn’t very enjoyable – it lacked any particularly clever jokes, and revolved around taking the same basic broad strokes from the first film, and running them into the ground.

After all, what’s the point of a comedy movie that’s not actually funny?

Somehow, inexplicably, we’re now getting a third movie in this series. Based on the new trailer, it’s really hard to know what to make of this.

On the one hand, there are some fun moments of physical comedy; the kind of daft slapstick that Atkinson has built an entire career around.

Also, for some strange reason, Emma Thompson is in this, seemingly playing the same character she played in “Men in Black 3”. Perhaps she mistakenly thought this was a “Fast and Furious” movie.

There are also some kind of awkward jokes in this short trailer. The honeymoon joke feels a little outdated (apparently two men can only hug each other when getting married?), and the current Brexit climate in Europe makes the image of an incredibly English man attempting to torpedo French cyclists feel somewhat fraught.

So why has this movie even been made in the first place?

It might have something to do with the fact that both previous “Johnny English” films have earned $160 million on $40 million budgets.

This movie is a nice little earner for everyone involved, and this being the case, there’s not much real need to worry about modern inconveniences such as political correctness.

We’ll have to wait and see whether this movie will be any good, but personally, I’m not going to hold my breath.