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Casino Royale

"Our Altitude? About Eighteen Inches"

Last night my friend Pablo and I went to see Johnny English Reborn. We and the other six people in the cinema enjoyed it immensely.

I've never understood why there is so much hatred for the Johnny English franchise. It may not as slick as Austin Powers, but it's a competent Bond spoof on very little budget, and it's terribly British.

We last saw Johnny English knighted after saving Britain from a plot by the dastardly French. In the second instalment, he has been disgraced and stripped of his knighthood after a fatal balls-up in Mozambique. He has spent the subsequent five years in a Tibetan monastery forgetting his past, studying martial arts and learning to withstand massive kicks to the testicles. Summoned home to negotiate with a double agent who will speak to no one else, he finds himself in the midst of a plot to assassinate the Chinese Premier, complete with news that there's a mole in MI7 - or is it a vole?

I was sorry not to see the faithful Butt Monkey Bough, but the replacement sidekick, Tucker, is lovably keen. There's also Dominic West as the charming and perfect Agent 1, Tim McInnerny as the Q character, 'Patch' Quatermain - or what's left of him after testing various unsuccessful gadgets - and Gillian Anderson as Pegasus, frosty head of MI7 and owner of a cat named Philby.

My favourite moments:
  • The sign in MI7's reception: 'British Intelligence from Toshiba - Spying for You'.
  • English and Tucker rush a shot KGB agent to hospital by helicopter. Air Traffic Control has refused to give them directions so they follow an A road at a height of a couple of feet, obeying the traffic laws at a roundabout.
  • The progress of English's Rolls Royce across Switzerland is charted by a series of speed camera flashes.
  • The long-awaited point at which English reveals his resistance to groinal attack.
  • The bit after the credits. Worth the wait.

I could complain about male movie stars getting to have onscreen relationships with women young enough to be their daughters (and I was rather rooting for Gillian Anderson as the love interest), but that would be hypocritical since I, personally, would have a hard time turning Rowan Atkinson down.


I rly like Johnny English! I am going to take M to see it.
I just spent an hour on TVTropes because of the Butt Monkey link.
Yeah, that happens. Sorry! (I wonder if the condition of getting sucked into TVTropes has its own trope? I'm scared to check.)
...and it sent me on a meta-trail through annotations on Irregular Webcomic because I'm sure there's an annotation somewhere in there about tropes (along with a hundred or more with links to TV Tropes, including at least one which links back)...
Oh, at least one! Did you have any luck?
I didn't find the annotation I though I remembered reading, but... ;)
You linked TVTropes without a warning?!

You meanie :p
I thought use of the phrase 'Butt Monkey' would be warning enough!
No hatred for Johnny English here, but I do remember finding it disappointing.

Suppose Johnny English is that character from Never Say Never, having moved up in the ranks over time?

Oh, I could get behind that!

I find English a rather touching character, actually - he knows he's a bit rubbish but he dutifully ploughs on anyway.
The bit after the credits. Worth the wait.

Bah. I usually wait, but I didn't this time.

I had a feeling there would be a sting at the end. Even though the auditorium lights had gone on by that point...