Far, far from funny
: Oliver Parker
: Rowan Atkinson, Gillian Anderson
: * 1/2
Eight years ago, Rowan Atkinson portrayed the bumbling titular character in a hugely popular spy spoof. In this ragged sequel, the viewer is once again subjected to the antics of the pratfall-prone British comedian.
This time out, the most unlikely intelligence officer in Her Majesty’s Secret Service returns to active duty after a prolonged self-imposed exile. His mission: intercept a group of international rogue agents before they assassinate the Chinese premier.
The screenplay is strictly baloney and most of the jokes fall flat. Situations which aren’t funny to begin with are stretched till they grow tiresome. A running gag involving a killer ‘maid’ tests the limits of our endurance.
The ageing Atkinson tends to grate on the nerves. The film’s sole saving grace is Rosamund Pike (remember her from the recent Barney’s Version?) in the role of a psycho-analyst. She’s utterly beguiling, even though Johnny English Reborn isn’t.