Eight years after the first Johnny English film graced our screens, we're now being taken back to that same state of mind with the sequel that was released earlier this month. Almost three weeks after it came roaring into cinemas and hearing quite poor reviews of the film, I (reluctantly) decided to watched it. To my surprise, the cinema was almost full with the audience's ages varying from 8 to 80! It was filled with laughter from beginning to end, and as the film came to a close the audience clapped. Only once have I experienced this happen, and that was at the press screening of Scott Pilgrim - And that really did deserve an applause. So why do audiences love these films so much?
The first, most obvious reason that comes to my mind is the fact it stars national treasure Rowan Atkinson. In England this man can do no wrong. He gained fan's attention from Black Adder, became internationally popular with Mr Bean, starred in films such as Love Actually and Rat Race, and is now Johnny English. With these comedy roles securely placing him as one of the most popular comedians of our time, he literally can do no wrong, including starring in this relatively dull, silly film.
The second reason could be because it is a silly film. You're not there to experience a life changing, melodramatic performance that's been created to make everyone rethink about the way a film can be produced. It's there to gain cheap laughs, fulfil that inner child's humour and be a fun couple of hours to pass on a day off. Added with this, the third reason could be because it caters to so many different people. The target audience isn't set strictly to children, so the protagonist isn't a spy child ready to concur the world. But it also isn't set in stone for adults, so it contains slapstick comedy ready to make the young'uns laugh. By doing this makes it a perfect family film. No one's going to be frightened, no one's going to be bored (well...) and everyone's going to enjoy the silliness.
The forth, probably most important reason, is because it's a British film. We've all seen how successful The Inbetweeners Movie was. Us Brits love a good laugh when the comedy is directed exactly for us. It's a sarcastic film filled with iconic shots of London and the way English people see themselves as. We take it as one of our own creations, and being typically British, we're very proud of that and will support it.
And finally, the fifth reason why audiences could love it so much is because he isn't actually a good spy. He's an everyday guy, getting into situation that anyone of us, when put into that situation, would do. We would trip over things, we would miss a shot when killing a bad guy - That's what makes him so relatable for audiences to enjoy. Johnny English doesn't try to be the smooth badass that gets all the ladies, he's the extra in the film that's been given a chance to shine.
So whether you hate these films or love them, you can't deny they are perfect for a family gathering, sitting in front of your TV after watching The X Factor, and seeing the stupid antics he gets up to. Whether it deserves an applause, I'm still not sure...
He is a bit brilliant.