Johnny English Reborn

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Johnny English Reborn
Johnny English Reborn poster
British release poster
Directed by Oliver Parker
Produced by Tim Bevan
Eric Fellner
Chris Clark
Screenplay by Hamish McColl
Story by William Davies
Based on Characters
by Neal Purvis
Robert Wade
Willam Davies
Music by Ilan Eshkeri
Cinematography Danny Cohen
Edited by Guy Bensley
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date
  • 15 September 2011 (2011-09-15) (International premiere)
  • 7 October 2011 (2011-10-07) (United Kingdom)
  • 21 October 2011 (2011-10-21) (North America)
Running time
102 minutes[1]
Country France
United Kingdom
United States
Language English
Budget $45 million[2]
Box office $160.1 million[3]

Johnny English Reborn is a 2011 British spy action comedy film directed by Oliver Parker. The film is the sequel to Johnny English (2003) and the second instalment in the Johnny English series. It stars Rowan Atkinson reprising his role as the title character.[4] Like its predecessor, the film parodies traits from the James Bond film series and clichés of the spy genre and marks Atkinson and Tim McInnerny's second collaboration after the series Blackadder.[5] Johnny English Reborn was met with mixed reviews but has grossed a total of $160 million worldwide.

The film was released in the United Kingdom on October 7, 2011 and topped the country's box office for the next two weekends, before being dethroned by Paranormal Activity 3.[6][7] It was later released in North America on October 21, 2011. A sequel to the film, Johnny English Strikes Again, is scheduled for a September 20, 2018 release.


Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson) has been training in Tibet following a botched mission in Mozambique when he is summoned by MI7. Under his new boss Pamela Thornton (Gillian Anderson), codename 'Pegasus', he is put on a mission to investigate a plot to assassinate the Chinese Premier during scheduled talks with the Prime Minister. He meets fellow agent and old acquaintance Simon Ambrose (Dominic West); MI7's resident quartermaster, Patch Quartermain (Tim McInnerny); and junior agent Colin Tucker (Daniel Kaluuya), who will be English's new assistant.

In Hong Kong, English finds ex CIA agent Titus Fisher (Richard Schiff), who reveals himself to be a member of Vortex, who were responsible for sabotaging English's Mozambique operation. Vortex holds a secret weapon that requires three metal keys to unlock. But when he reveals his key, Fisher is killed by a grey haired woman (Pik-Sen Lim) disguised as an apartment cleaner, and another guy steals the key.

English chases the thief across Hong Kong, but loses him when the culprit leaps over a ventilator. However, recalling his Tibetan training, English simply slips into the gap between the ventilator and a wall. He continues the chase by means of easy solutions to hazardous routes the thief takes - for example, when the criminal slowly climbs down bamboo scaffolding, English simply takes an elevator. However, on his flight back to London, English is tricked by another Vortex operative disguised as a flight attendant, and is humiliated in a meeting with the Foreign Secretary and Pegasus when he attempts to present the key and the plans. He then mistakes Pegasus's mother to be the cleaner assassin and attacks her at Pegasus's daughter's birthday party.

Kate Sumner (Rosamund Pike), MI7's behavioral psychologist, uses hypnosis to help English recall his suppressed memory of the Mozambique incident, revealing another Vortex operative, Russian spy Artem Karlenko (Mark Ivanir), who is masquerading as millionaire Sergei Pudovkin. English and Tucker meet Karlenko at an exclusive golf course outside London. However, mid game, the cleaner assassin critically injures Karlenko. As English and Tucker fly by helicopter, the assassin shoots out the navigation system with a Gatling gun disguised as a golf bag. When asked by authorities about their location and altitude, they simply spot a street sign saying Runstock and say just that. They lower the chopper to less than a metre to easily identify altitude. They simply follow a road at low altitude to the town of Dingham, where there is supposed to be a hospital. When Karlenko almost passes out, English and Tucker keep him awake with an awkward rendition of Don't Give Up on Us. After landing on a moving ambulance, the three finally reach Dingham Hospital. Atop the ambulance, Karlenko reveals that the Vortex third key holder is a mole inside MI7, and then dies.

At MI7, English learns that talks between Britain and China will be conducted at a heavily guarded fortress called Le Bastion in the Swiss Alps, in order to gain assistance against the development of nuclear weapons in Southeast Asia. Over dinner, English confides with Ambrose about the mole, not knowing that Ambrose is the actual mole. Ambrose tricks English into thinking Quartermain is the traitor, and despite Tucker confronting Ambrose in the bathroom, English dismisses Tucker and lets Ambrose go free, giving him Karlenko's key. At a church, English confronts Quartermain, but realises he has been framed as the traitor.

He escapes the MI7 operatives using Quartermain's enhanced wheelchair, and hides at Sumner's flat. After reviewing the footage of the Mozambique mission, Sumner realises the assassin behaved abnormally, and that Vortex has a drug called timoxeline barbebutenol that makes the person suggestible to mind control before killing them. Ambrose picks up Sumner to go to the fortress event, knowing that English had been hiding in the flat. When English realizes Ambrose's treachery is actually very real, he spots the cleaner vacuuming Sumner's flat. When he hides behind a door, a chainsaw attached to the vacuum cleaner saws straight through the door. Luckily, English escapes the assassin via a garbage chute and makes for Tucker's apartment. Not much later, Ambrose, accompanied with the other leader of Vortex, meets with Vortex's current client and agrees for 500 million USD to be transferred to Ambrose's bank account.

In Tucker's flat, English persuades him to rejoin him to infiltrate Le Bastion. After getting in the gates, English accidentally activates a distress beacon that alerts the guards of the fortress to their presence. On English's command, Tucker punches his superior several times and deliberately misses English with a gun, saying to the Swiss guards that he killed English. Having been taken to Le Bastion, English manages to get out of the bag that holds him. English warns Pegasus of the threat, but unknowingly imbibes the drink containing the drug. Ambrose tells English to subdue Pegasus, which he does with a punch to the face. Assigning English to be the Prime Minister's bodyguard inside the safe room, he orders him to kill the Chinese Premier using a pistol disguised as lipstick, which was hastily used despite it being intended for Thornton. However, English attempts to resist the drug. Tucker arrives and interrupts Ambrose's communication feed with a radio channel playing the song ‘Word Up’, but Ambrose resets the communication, exposing himself to the Chinese Premier in the process. English resists again and shoots Ambrose, who dodges and escapes, but the chemical enters its lethal stage, and English falls to the floor. Sumner arrives and is able to revive English with a passionate kiss.

With Ambrose heading down the mountain, English pursues him by parachuting and then snowmobilling down a mountainside. The two spies fight in an aerial tram, but English prevails after recalling his training in Tibet where he was repeatedly kicked in the crotch, but falls off the lift. Ambrose shoots at English, but English mistakenly believes his spy umbrella is the D7 bulletproof shield. Upon opening it, he accidentally triggers the umbrella, which is really the T2 rocket launcher, and destroys the lift, killing Ambrose. Later on, Vortex is shut down and English is to have his knighthood reinstated by the Queen. During the ceremony, the Queen is revealed to be the killer cleaner again, which leads English to attack the real Queen by accident, realising his mistake only when the killer cleaner is finally caught by the others.


  • Rowan Atkinson as Johnny English, an accident prone but good hearted MI7 agent.
  • Gillian Anderson as Pamela Thornton a.k.a. Pegasus, head of MI7.
  • Dominic West as Simon Ambrose, a MI7 agent and colleague of English; later revealed as an antagonist, as a member of Vortex.
  • Rosamund Pike as Kate Sumner, a behavioral psychologist at MI7, and English's love interest.
  • Daniel Kaluuya as Colin Tucker, an MI7 agent who becomes English's assistant and sidekick in his mission.
  • Richard Schiff as Titus Fisher, an ex-CIA operative and member of Vortex.
  • Tim McInnerny as Patch Quartermain, MI7's wheelchair user quartermaster.
  • Pik-Sen Lim as Killer Cleaner, a Vortex assassin who appears variously as a grey haired cleaning lady, Pegasus' mother, and later still, the Queen.
  • Stephen Campbell Moore as the British Prime Minister.
  • Burn Gorman as Slater, a MI7 intelligence expert who works with Ambrose and is a member of Vortex.
  • Togo Igawa as Ting Wang, English's mentor in Tibet, and MI7 sleeper agent.
  • Mark Ivanir as Artem Karlenko, a Russian former double agent and member of Vortex.


Filming for the sequel in London in September 2010

On 28 March 2007, Atkinson confirmed on Richard & Judy that a script for a second film was being worked on. In an interview for Mr. Bean's Holiday, Atkinson also said that there was quite a moderate chance for a sequel. On 8 April 2010, Universal Pictures first announced that they were producing a sequel to Johnny English, seven years following the first film.[8]

In June 2010, it was announced that Daniel Kaluuya had been added to the cast. In July 2010, Ben Miller, who featured as the sidekick 'Bough' in Johnny English, claimed had not been approached to reprise his role. On 10 July 2010, Deadline Hollywood reported that Gillian Anderson would be playing a MI7 secret agent named Pamela Head.[9]

Filming began on 11 September 2010, in Central London at Cannon Street, with further production scheduled for the week beginning 13 September 2010, at Brocket Hall, Hertfordshire and later in Hawley Woods in Hampshire, Macau and Hong Kong.[10][11]

Filming took place on The Mall, London in Central London on 25 September 2010. Filming also took place in Kent, along the A299 carriageway and Cliffs End, Ramsgate.[12] The "Johnny English Theme" song from the original film is used four times in the score. Ben Miller, who played Bough in the previous movie, appeared but his scenes were cut from the final film.


The car that Johnny English drives was a Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupé with an experimental 9.0 litre V16 engine. There are only a few of these engines in existence, produced during tests for the Phantom Coupé, and they were not used in production models. For the production of the film, Atkinson approached the company and requested that they install one into a car, making the vehicle seen in the film unique.[13]


Johnny English Reborn was originally going to release on 29 July 2011. The film was then pushed back to 16 September 2011, however, it was delayed again, this time to 7 October 2011.

Home media[edit]

Johnny English Reborn was released on DVD and Blu-ray combo pack featuring the first film on 14 February 2012 in the United Kingdom, and on 28 February 2012 in North America.[14]


Box office[edit]

Johnny English Reborn opened to an estimated $3,833,300 in its first weekend in United States and Canada. In the United Kingdom, it grossed $7,727,025, $2,628,344 in Australia, and $3,391,190 in Germany. After five weeks in release, it grossed $8,305,970 in the United States and Canada and $151,772,616 elsewhere, bringing to a total of $160,078,586.[15]

Critical response[edit]

Much like its predecessor, the film received mixed reviews from critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 38% of 89 critics have given the film a positive review, with a rating average of 4.8 out of 10. The website's consensus is "Arguably a marginal improvement on its mostly forgotten predecessor, Johnny English Reborn nonetheless remains mired in broad, tired spy spoofing that wastes Rowan Atkinson's once considerable comedic talent".[16] Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, gives the film a score of 46 based on 20 reviews.[17] CinemaScore polls reported that the average grade moviegoers gave the film was a "B" on an A+ to F scale.[18]

On the Australian television programme At the Movies, Margaret Pomeranz rated the film 3 stars and David Stratton rated the film 2 stars (the highest being 5 stars).[19] Indian film critic Nikhat Kazmi of the Times of India gave the film a positive review praising Atkinson's characteristic flair for comedy once again, giving it a 4 star rating out of 5.[20]


Year Awards Categories Recipient(s) Results Citation(s)
2011 Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards Best Original Song I Believe in You Nominated
Evening Standard British Film Awards Blockbuster of the Year
- People's Choice
Johnny English Reborn Nominated


In May 2017, it was announced that pre-production had begun on a third film, set to be released in 20 September 2018.[23]


  1. ^ "Johnny English Reborn (PG)". British Board of Film Classification. 1 September 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  2. ^ Kaufman, Amy; Zeitchik, Steven (20 October 2011). "Movie Projector: 'Paranormal Activity 3' to frighten rivals". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  3. ^ "Johnny English Reborn (2011)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 14 November 2011. 
  4. ^ Germain Lussier (13 September 2010). "Gillian Anderson, Dominic West and Join Rowan Atkinson in 'Johnny English Reborn'". Retrieved 13 September 2010. 
  5. ^ "Johnny English Reborn Parody and Pastiche". 
  6. ^ "Weekend box office 7th October 2011 - 9th October 2011". Retrieved 30 December 2016. 
  7. ^ "Weekend box office 14th October 2011 - 16th October 2011". Retrieved 30 December 2016. 
  8. ^ Tatiana Siegel (8 April 2010). "Universal signs up for more English". Variety. Retrieved 7 April 2010. 
  9. ^ London, Tim Adler in (9 July 2010). "Johnny English Recruits Gillian Anderson". 
  10. ^ Stuart Kemp (13 September 2010). "Cast added to 'Johnny English Reborn'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 14 September 2010. Retrieved 13 September 2010. 
  11. ^ Working Title Films Staff (12 October 2010). "Johnny English Reborn enters principal photography". Working Title Films. Retrieved 25 January 2011. 
  12. ^ Kent Film Office Johnny English Reborn Film Focus.
  13. ^ "Johnny English Reborn Rolls-Royce Phantom". 9 September 2011. Retrieved 4 July 2012. 
  14. ^ "Johnny English Reborn".
  15. ^ "Johnny English Reborn (2011) - International Box Office Results - Box Office Mojo". BoxOfficeMojo. 
  16. ^ "Johnny English Reborn (2011)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  17. ^ "Johnny English Reborn Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 22 October 2011. 
  18. ^ McClintock, Pamela (21 October 2011). "Box Office Report: 'Paranormal Activity 3' on Course for Jaw-Dropping $45 Mil to $50 Mil Weekend". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on 24 October 2011. Retrieved 22 October 2011. 
  19. ^ Pomeranz, Margaret; Stratton, David. "Johnny English Reborn Review". At The Movies TV Show and Website. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  20. ^ "Johnny English Reborn – Nikhat Kazmi". The Times of India. Retrieved 1 October 2011. 
  21. ^ "Past Years Awards". Retrieved 8 February 2017
  22. ^ "Evening Standard British Film Awards for 2011 - SHORTLIST REVEALED". Retrieved 8 February 2017
  23. ^ Solutions, Powder Blue Internet Business. "Rowan Atkinson to make Johnny English 3 : News 2017 : Chortle : The UK Comedy Guide". 

External links[edit]