Johnny English

Rated NR

Up to this point in time, the phrase "English humor," while generally meaning "not funny," at least didn’t mean "a man crawling through a tube full of human feces." Johnny English has now rectified this bit of propriety by being a British film that partakes of the worst element of both American and English comedy. The jokes take forever to set up and you can see the punchlines coming over the horizon; there’s plenty of disgusting stuff for those suffering from Farrelly withdrawal; and any time anything bad happens to a Frenchman, it’s automatically assumed to be funny. Rowan Atkinson, who stars as the titular super-spy who must stop a Gallic plot to take over England, was actually funny in his old Blackadder series, but he was also tremendously awful in his Bean movies and TV shows, and he seems to go for the latter style here. While I can’t recommend this film for any adult with 40 percent or more of their cerebral cortex still intact, it might be amusing for the kiddies, who, as I understand it, think that watching someone fall down in poop is right hilarious.

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