Story

Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson) is an accident-prone British intelligence agent for MI7. He’s on a retreat high in the Tibetan mountains honing his Kung Fu skills. In London, MI7 has been told by Hong Kong agent Fisher (Richard Schiff) that a group of international assassins called Vortex is planning to kill the Chinese Premier. Fisher will pass vital information only to English. Pamela Thornton (Gillian Anderson), the head of MI7, recalls English from his Tibetan retreat and teams him up with Agent Tucker (Daniel Kaluuya). Tucker’s job is to keep Johnny on the straight and narrow. Kate Summer (Rosamund Pike), MI7’s behavioural psychologist, is also assigned to keep an eye on English.

English and Tucker go to Hong Kong and make contact with Fisher, who gives English one of three keys needed to unlock the secret weapon that will be used to kill the Chinese Premier. But before Fisher can hand over any more information, he’s killed.

English and Tucker must track down the remaining two keys, dodge international assassins and sort out conspiracies involving the KGB, CIA and MI7. At the same time, English is trying save the Chinese Premier’s life and prevent global chaos and disaster.

Themes

Espionage; assassination

Violence

The movie’s action violence is shown in an unrealistic slapstick way. There are several violent deaths, but there isn’t much blood and gore. For example:

  • Violent deaths include a man falling onto a table dead with a small drink umbrella sticking out of his neck. A man is shot in the back of the neck, and a man is shot in the stomach by a sniper (no blood is shown).
  • A Kung Fu priest kicks another priest in the genitals, and a man drags a large rock tied to his genitals across the ground. Another time, a man repeatedly kicks Johnny English in the genitals. This doesn’t seem to affect English. English kicks his attacker in the genitals and his attacker falls to the ground.
  • English burns his feet as he walks across hot coals.
  • A man stands in a suspended cable car and English fires a small rocket at the car, which explodes in a ball of flames.
  • English has a fight with several men, kicking one man in the face and hitting another over the head with a wooden staff and another across the face. One man attacks English with a chain. A man kicks another man in the face, knocking him to the ground. A man is hit in the groin with a plank of wood.
  • In a case of mistaken identity, English knocks an old woman down then repeatedly hits her across the head with a serving tray and bends her arm behind her back. Later, the old woman hits English across the head with the same tray, knocking him to the ground.
  • A sniper with a rifle shoots Johnny English in the leg – we don’t see the wound but we do see drops of blood on the ground. Later English has a bandage wrapped around his upper thigh.
  • A woman attacks English with a chainsaw disguised as a vacuum cleaner. She uses the chainsaw to slice through a door.
  • While under the influence of a mind control drug, English repeatedly hits his head against a wall and claws at his own face. He punches a woman in the face, knocking her unconscious.
  • A woman holds a knife to a man’s throat.

Content that may disturb children

Under 8

Children in this age group are likely to be scared by the violent scenes mentioned above.

From 8-13

Younger children in this age group might also be disturbed by the violent scenes mentioned above.

Over 13

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this movie.

Sexual references

This movie has some low-level sexual references and innuendo. For example:

  • A man says, ‘I once held a White Russian in my hand. He was very lovely’. The conversation is about a cocktail, but the implication is sexual.
  • Johnny English refers to a woman as having plump pillows (breasts), a beautiful face and being completely out of his league.
  • Johnny English and a woman almost kiss before being interrupted by a knock at the door. As she tries to hide Johnny, the woman says, ‘Bedroom quickly’. Johnny replies, ‘Definitely’.
  • After a woman gives Johnny English mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and then kisses him, Johnny says to Tucker, ‘I want to kiss you if you don’t mind’. Tucker replies, ‘Well whatever’.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

This movie has some use of substances. For example:

  • A man offers another man a drink, asking, ‘What’s your poison?’ The man goes on to offer several different types of alcohol including vodka, rum and port.
  • In several scenes, people holding glasses of wine.

Nudity and sexual activity

This movie has some nudity and sexual activity. For example:

  • Women wear low-cut tops in several scenes.
  • A woman takes off her dress in a sensual way. She has a brief bikini underneath. Later the same bikini-clad woman and Johnny English sit in a Jacuzzi flirting mildly with each other.
  • Johnny English and Kate Summer flirt with each other.
  • A woman gives Johnny mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Johnny regains consciousness and says to the woman, ‘Almost there’. She gives him a long passionate kiss on the lips.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie: Toshiba laptop computers and Roll Royce cars.

Coarse language

This movie contains occasional very mild coarse language and name-calling.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Johnny English Reborn is a comedy spy thriller targeting teenagers and adults. It’s a bit predictable, but will probably entertain people who enjoy spy spoof movies. Rowan Atkinson fans will probably like it too. Younger adolescent children are likely to find the slapstick comedy hilarious.

The main messages from this movie are that you should never give up or surrender, no matter how many times you fail.

You might like to talk with your children about the gender stereotyping in the movie.