The greatest English spy is back, again

The third instalment of the Johnny English series, starring Rowan Atkinson who we all know and love from "Mr. Bean" was released on October 5, 2018 in the UK. Thanks to the commercial success and some iconic comedy scenes of its prequels, "Johnny English Strikes Again" hit the theatres in the face of high expectations.

The movie features the same basic concept of the previous two films. Atkinson plays the role of Johnny English, a comically inept MI7 agent who alongside his loyal and more capable sidekick Angus Bough, is on a mission to stop a highly influential foreign personality who threatens the wellbeing of Britain.

The above paragraph pretty much hints at what this movie is like – repetitive. The characters and the plot seem to be copy-pasted versions with slight tweaks from the previous two films and does not have any new element. Even though this movie isn't meant to have a serious plotline, the predictability of the story takes away some of the appeal.

Moving on, this movie holds true to its character and will give you bursts of laughter and giggles from time to time. But most of these comedic scenes are random and forced when you compare it to the previous films and doesn't seem to have much correlation with the story. These instances of clownish comedy isn't enough when you consider this is after all, a 1 hour and 29 minutes long movie and you're likely to experience an unsatisfactory feeling at the end. This is reflected in the American review aggregation website, Rotten Tomatoes, which has an approval rating of only 38 percent from 47 reviews for this film. The average rating is also quite low, being 4.6 out of 10.

Anyone who has watched the first film will admit that the movie's climax scene of crowning the antagonist was the most entertaining and memorable part of the whole movie. The third installation looked to do something similar and the writers were partially successful. The effort to recreate the first movie's charm was evident but it still had the overall problem of repetitive and forced comedy.

That being said, Johnny English Strikes Again also has a couple of positives to go with it. While the comedic scenes had little relevance to the overall movie and felt forced in most cases, they were successful in achieving their primary purpose – making the audience laugh. The movie also didn't have that much references to the prequels, which means anyone watching it without having seen the rest will still understand and enjoy it fully.

Although the movie didn't quite meet the expectation the general audience had, as a standalone film, it's not entirely bad. It might not be worthy of making a plan to go and watch it at the theatres, but for instances when you're bored at home and want to watch something that'll give you a few giggles, this movie is very suitable.


Mushfiqur Rahman Shanto is a lost and confused soul going through his early twenties' crisis. Send him life advice at [email protected]


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