Johnny English Reborn

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Johnny English Reborn Movie Poster Image
Slapstick-heavy spoof features dumbed-down humor for tweens.
  • PG
  • 2011
  • 101 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 25 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value
Positive Messages

This isn't a message-oriented movie, but kids will learn that with age comes experience, even if the person seems a bit silly at first. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Johnny has the best of intentions, even though he often makes mistakes on his missions. Agent Tucker never loses faith in Johnny, even when he's been wrongfully denounced.

Violence & Scariness

Three character deaths, but each one is portrayed somewhat humorously. Some explosions and gunfire ensue during climactic scenes. There's martial arts sparring at the beginning of the movie as well as one extended "battle," in which Johnny fights a villain with kicks, punches, etc. An elderly woman plays an assassin with a collection of weapons that are hidden inside other objects (vacuum cleaner, suitcase, etc.). Several jokes revolve around Johnny's ability to withstand kicks to the groin.

Sexy Stuff

Johnny flirts with Kate; in one scene, she kisses him briefly on the lips.

Language

Infrequently used words include "stupid," "damn," "bloody," "turd," and "good lord." The word "pussy" is used to refer to a cat.

Consumerism

Apple computer and a couple of cars are displayed.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this spy comedy is a sequel to Johnny English, a star vehicle for British comedian Rowan Atkinson (aka Mr. Bean). Like The Naked Gun's Frank Drebin, Johnny is a bumbling character who always ends up saving the day -- by accident. There's loads of rough slapstick, as well as weapons, martial arts fighting, explosions, and gun violence, but it's all played for laughs. The sexuality is limited to one brief kiss and some flirting, and the language is fairly mild ("damn," "bloody," "turd").

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byangela2678 October 26, 2011

Funny, but content not appropriate for kids under 12

For the first time ever, I disagree with the age that this site recommended for this movie. Also, the review written by the site is incomplete in its explanati... Continue reading
Adult Written bySezzastar October 27, 2011

An uncomfortable scene.

My partner went to see the film, said it was really good but at no point expected the scene with the woman in the skimpy bikini. Totally innapropriate in my opi... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old October 24, 2011

Johnny English Reborn= Must-See Movie!!

Oh my Gosh I absolutley loved this movie!! I think Johnny English is so funny and that this movie is good for kids 8 and up. I think this because there are bad... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byNeed2KnowBoutFilms August 18, 2012

Totally ON

I really love this film, i really cannot get enough of it, still watch it now on my own, with family and friends, it is a really funny film, i watched it in the... Continue reading

What's the story?

Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson) is hiding out in the mountains of Tibet, living with monks, when he's suddenly called back into spy duty: Director "Pegasus" (Gillian Anderson) needs English to help uncover a plot to kill the Chinese premier. With young agent Tucker (David Kaluuya) as his apprentice and a beautiful behaviorist (Rosamunde Pike) on board to lend her expertise, English still manages to bungle the mission, which is threatened at every turn by an elderly woman who's actually an assassin. As English and Tucker delve deeper into the assignment, they discover that their colleague (Dominic West) might be involved in the nefarious plot.

Is it any good?

Here's hoping Atkinson's next project highlights his acting skills better than this silly spy spoof does. Either you're a fan of Atkinson's brand of slapstick humor or you aren't, and if you can't stand the physical comedy or the gags involving him hitting someone he thinks is a villain but is actually a grandmother -- or the Queen! -- then this isn't a comedy worth seeing. And, frankly, even for Atkinson's fans, this isn't an example of his best work, like Rat Race or Mr. Bean's Holiday. A little dash of Atkinson goes a long way (Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral), but an entire film can get tiresome (especially the kicks to the groin) -- even though there will of course be a couple of moments when you can't help but laugh at the absurdity.

 

A small saving grace is the fantastic cast. Anderson is one of America's rare actors who can successfully maintain an English accent, West is an underrated actor who should be cast in more than a throwaway supporting role, and newcomer Kaluuya holds his own as the comedic straight man to Atkinson's zany antics.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what makes spoofs funny. In what way does this movie contain the same elements as a regular spy film like the James Bond movies? How are those aspects turned into comedy?

  • Why do underdog characters, even silly ones like Johnny, elicit audience support? Who are some other cinematic underdogs we laugh with -- and at -- no matter how bumbling they might be?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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