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Rowan Atkinson is back to goof it up in ‘Johnny English Strikes Again’ (review)

October 26, 2018 GMT

Rowan Atkinson is back to goof it up in ‘Johnny English Strikes Again’ (review)

CLEVELAND, Ohio – This the third time out for Rowan Atkinson as the bumbling British spy Johnny English. If you’re a fan of Peter Sellers’ Inspector Clouseau or Mike Myers’ Austin Powers, you can’t go far wrong adding Johnny English to the mix.

Atkinson is a skilled physical comedian with a rubber mug for a face, and he can stretch it into all kinds of hilarious expressions. He takes on the James Bond milieu and has fun running it into the ground with his general incompetence and all-around clumsiness.

This time out, in “Johnny English Strikes Again,” a master hacker has exposed all the British spies in her majesty’s secret service. Now he wants to hijack the internet and thereby control the world.

Johnny English is happily retired and working at a fancy boarding school in the English countryside teaching spy tricks to little kids.

The prime minister, played by Emma Thompson, has brought English back to work. He’s so analog and old-school that no one can find him on the internet. He doesn’t even have a cellphone. He still prefers to travel (and run out of gas) in his 1960s Aston Martin.

English likes all the old-fashioned gadgets such as exploding pens, ejector seats in cars and knockout pills.

This being third movie in the franchise, the pratfalls, the misfiring gizmos and the cases of mistaken identity are becoming a bit threadbare as far as the gags go. But Johnny English soldiers on to keep the world safe from evil villains. Even if he does so quite by accident.

Just remember, keep calm and count on Johnny English to save the day.

REVIEW

Johnny English Strikes Again

Who: With Rowan Atkinson, Olga Kurylenko, Emma Thompson, Jake Lacey and Miranda Hennessy. Directed by David Kerr. 

Rated: PG.

Running time: 88 minutes.

When: Opens Friday, Oct. 26.

Where: Area theaters.

Grade: C+