Johnny English Strikes Again Parent Guide
This film knows exactly what it wants to be - a comic bit of cinematic escapism - and it totally nails its niche.
Parent Movie Review
As secret agent Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson) bumbles into the villain’s lair, the bemused bad guy asks who he is. “He’s British intelligence,” comes the answer. “Two words that have no business being together,” responds the criminal mastermind. Anyone watching Johnny English’s misadventures would be tempted to agree.
After two previous missions for MI7, the comically inept agent is recalled from retirement when a computer hack reveals the identities of every British asset worldwide. English and his sidekick Bough (Ben Miller) are sent to the South of France, where it is believed the cyber attack originated. Notwithstanding their talent for bungling the simplest of operations, English and Bough manage to identify the cyber attacker. Then comes the most difficult part of the mission: proving their case and apprehending him.
Identifying the villain in this story is not difficult: frankly, nothing in this movie requires a great deal of thought. In fact, it’s more enjoyable if you don’t think too hard. This is not meant as a criticism. This third installment of the Johnny English franchise is not pretending to be a sophisticated spy thriller. It knows exactly what it wants to be – a comic bit of cinematic escapism – and it totally nails its niche. This is a very funny movie, despite its flimsy plot and predictable gags. I laughed out loud far more often than I expected to and rest of the audience at the screening I attended also frequently burst into gales of laughter.
Johnny English Strikes Again has been given a PG rating which is completely appropriate. Parents will be pleased with the almost total lack of profanity (I counted four curse words). There is also very little sexual content, although I should point out that there is a scene of male buttock nudity. I deplore nudity in films, but I must confess to laughing at this scene: it is the funniest “pants-ing” moment I have ever seen. The biggest content issue in the film is violence – there is a lot of slapstick fighting, mostly ineffective, with no blood or other injuries seen. Only the most sensitive of children will find this movie frightening. Most viewers will simply laugh at the cartoonish fights, falls, hits and other mishaps.
Moviegoers will also get a kick out of the lead actor, Rowan Atkinson, who gained fame in the Mr. Bean series. Atkinson, with his expressive face and genius for physical comedy, shines as Johnny English. The rest of the cast round out the film nicely: Ben Miller as his devoted sidekick, Olga Kurylenko as Russian agent Ophelia, and Emma Thompson, who is having an enormous amount of fun playing the flustered, clueless Prime Minister. In fact, all the cast seem to be having a blast and that translates onto the film.
At one point in the story, the exasperated Prime Minister berates Agent English, “Can I just ask ‘What is wrong with you?’” Kids watching this picture won’t find much wrong with Johnny English. Hopefully the major studios will take note of their positive response to this family-friendly film and will “strike again” and produce more stories that the whole family can enjoy together.Directed by David Kerr. Starring Rowan Atkinson, Emma Thompson, and Olga Kurylenko. Running time: 88 minutes. Theatrical release October 26, 2018. Updated October 26, 2018
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Johnny English Strikes Again
Rating & Content Info
Why is Johnny English Strikes Again rated PG? Johnny English Strikes Again is rated PG by the MPAA for some action violence, rude humor, language and brief nudity
Violence: Slapstick violence is an almost constant feature of this film. Children are taught to defuse bombs and use garroting wire. Tear gas is fired at innocent bicyclists. A main character accidently sets off a stun grenade in a room with older men. A restaurant is accidentally burned down. A woman tries to shoot and then strangle a man on a dance floor. Men blow up a door on a yacht. While disoriented by a virtual reality headset, a man hits an innocent bystander with a book, hits another with an umbrella, kicks a woman’s wheelchair, attacks a bakery employee with baguettes, punches a tour guide on a bus and then throws him over the edge. The lead character throws a driving instructor out of the car and demands the (elderly) student driver take him to London. A woman attempts to poison and shoot a man; he then points a gun at her. A main character points a gun at two other people. A missile is launched.
Sexual Content: A man’s pants fall off: his naked buttocks are seen.
Profanity: There are only a handful of curses in this movie, including one term of Christian deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Children are taught to make conversation while holding empty martini glasses. A character mentions that it took two bottles of wine to fall asleep. She later uses alcohol to handle stress. Her drinking is not seen; only referred to. A main character drinks alcohol at a bar with a woman. A man accidentally takes energy pills instead of sleeping pills; his resultant manic energy is played for laughs.
Page last updated October 26, 2018
Johnny English Strikes Again Parents' Guide
This story is based on issues of cyber security. How vulnerable are our societies to computer hacking? How secure are your internet enabled devices? Do you know if your cell phone is secure? Do you choose passwords that are difficult to hack? Do you practice safe computing? What kind of security options do you use on your social media sites? Why is it important to protect your privacy online??
Read books about Johnny English Strikes Again
Teens who enjoy spy stories with a dry wit will enjoy Anthony Horowitz’s series about adolescent agent Alex Rider. The series kicks off with Stormbreaker.
Charlie Higson has penned a prequel series about Agent 007. SilverFin is the first in the Young Bond Series.
Related home video titles:
If you enjoy Johnny English’s bumbling antics, you will certainly get a kick out of the classic Pink Panther franchise. Starring Peter Sellers, these films cover the antics of the hilariously inept Inspector Clouseau of the French police.
The Spy Kids films bring family safe stories filled with not-too-tense intrigue and fun gadgets to the screen. Agent Cody Banks tells a family-friendly story of a teen recruited by the CIA. Also suitable for kids who want lots of action mixed with the story is The Spy Next Door.
If you want a more serious spy story, try Fair Game. This film tells the story of Valerie Plame Wilson, whose seemingly normal life was upended when a journalist published a story naming her as a CIA operative.If you get a kick out of Rowan Atkinson's physical comedy, you can watch him in Mr. Bean's Holiday.