Johnny English Reborn is mildly amusing throughout occasionally managing to actually be funny. More polished than the first Johnny English film and with far less reliance, thankfully, on toilet humour.
The supporting cast do a good job of being the straight guy to Rowan Atkinson’s English. Only the characters played by Tim McInnerny, Daniel Kaluuya’s and a few extras don’t always play their parts straight.
There are some ok pastiches of Bond in the score, title sequence, plot, Q branch sequence and look. There is a training sequence sends up You Only Live Twice’s ninja school with its ninja’s who are immune to a kick to the privates and every other training sequence made up of randomly cut together exercises showing a character going from wimp to hero.
The biggest problem is the inconsistency in Johnny English. One minute Johnny is a highly competent spy and then suddenly he is an incompetent klutz. Inspector Clouseau worked because he was always incompetent and accident prone but somehow that ended up played in his favour. Blackadder worked because he was competent and sharp but surrounded by incompetents. Johnny English sadly doesn’t achieve
It’s a shame because both flavours of English have their moments. Incompetent English, the English of the adverts, who flies a helicopter along a road at street level is fun. The competent English who outsmarts the free running villain is also fun.
So, sadly, Johnny English Reborn is more Johnny English Run Aground.