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
Starring Rowan Atkinson
Gillian Anderson
Rosamund Pike
Dominic West
Daniel Kaluuya
*Richard Schiff
(Special Participation)
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)
Running time
101 minutes[1]
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $45 million[2]
Box office $160 million[3]

Johnny English Reborn is a 2011 British action comedy film parodying the James Bond secret agent genre. The film is the sequel to Johnny English (2003), and stars Rowan Atkinson reprising his role as the title character[4] and directed by Oliver Parker.

Like its predecessor, the film parodies traits from the James Bond film series and clichés of the spy genre.[5] Johnny English Reborn was met with mixed reviews but has grossed a total of $160,078,586 worldwide. It is also Atkinson and McInnerny's second collaboration after the series Blackadder. 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]


Eight years after the events of the first film, Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson) is learning martial arts in Tibet as penance for a botched mission in Mozambique which resulted in him being stripped of his Knighthood. He is contacted by MI7 towards the end of his training, who arrange for him to be flown back to London and call him back to service.

Johnny returns to MI7's London headquarters (now Toshiba British Intelligence) and meets new boss "Pegasus" (Gillian Anderson). He is assigned a mission to stop a plotted assassination of the Chinese Premier during scheduled talks with the Prime Minister. Johnny also meets with fellow agent and old acquaintance Simon Ambrose (Dominic West), as well as MI7's resident quartermaster, Patch Quartermain (Tim McInnerny). A junior agent, Colin Tucker (Daniel Kaluuya) is assigned to him for the mission.

In Macau, English discovers an address that leads him to ex-CIA agent Titus Fisher (Richard Schiff). Fisher reveals he is a member of 'Vortex', a group of three assassins and their accomplices, who sabotaged English's Mozambique operation. Vortex holds a secret weapon, requiring three metal keys to unlock when used together, and Fisher reveals his possession of one. Fisher is then killed by an elderly assassin (Pik-Sen Lim) disguised as a cleaner and the key is stolen by a Vortex member.

English chases the thief across Hong Kong and eventually retrieves the key. On his flight back to London, Johnny is tricked by another Vortex operative disguised as a flight attendant, who secretly reclaims the key. English is humiliated in a meeting with the Foreign Secretary and Pegasus by the loss of the key, and then assaults Pegasus's mother after twice mistaking her for the cleaner assassin.

Kate Sumner (Rosamund Pike), MI7's behavioral psychologist, uses hypnosis to help English recall his suppressed memory of Mozambique, revealing the second Vortex lead operative, Russian spy Artem Karlenko (Mark Ivanir). Johnny and Tucker meet him at an exclusive golf course outside London; mid-game, the cleaner assassin reappears and uses a sniper rifle disguised as a golf club to attack the party, killing Karlenko's bodyguard and leaving him critically injured. Johnny escapes the golf course with Karlenko in a helicopter. Before they can reach a hospital Karlenko reveals that the third assassin in Vortex is a member of MI7 and dies.

Johnny meets with Pegasusat and the British Prime Minister at MI7. It is revealed that talks between Britain and China will continue in a heavily guarded fortress called 'Le Bastion' in the Swiss Alps. Over dinner, English informs Ambrose that he knows of a mole in MI7. Ambrose is in truth the final chief agent of Vortex, and prepares to kill English, until it becomes clear that the traitor's identity is unknown to English and Pegasus. Tucker confronts Ambrose in the bathroom, having deduced he is the mole, but English scolds him for insurbordination and orders him to leave. Ambrose deceives English, convincing that Quartermain is the traitor and earning his Vortex key. Ambrose then tells Pegasus that English is the traitor.

English confronts Quartermain in the church and realizes that he has been framed. He is shot at by MI7 snipers and agents posing as church attendants, and takes a bullet in the left leg. English improvises and holds Quartermain hostage before escaping in his highly advanced modified electric wheelchair. English evades a fleet of MI7 operatives in a chase across London, and visits Kate's flat. He convinces her that he is not the traitor, and Kate hides him at the flat.

Kate scrutinizes footage of the Mozambique mission and realises the assassin behaved abnormally. She and English learn that Vortex owns a lethal drug called timoxeline barbebutenol that renders a person controllable for a brief time before they suddenly die of heart failure. Ambrose plans to use the drug to kill the Premier in exchange for 500 million USD, using an unwitting Pegasus as the assassin.

English visits Tucker and convinces him to help infiltrate 'Le Bastion'. The pair commandeer MI7 equipment, and successfully infiltrate the fortress, where they argue over whether an umbrella is a disguised shield or rocket. English warns Pegasus of the threat, but unknowingly imbibes the drink containing the drug, rendering him vulnerable to Ambrose's commands, the first of which is to subdue Pegasus after she berates Ambrose as a traitor which he does with a punch to the face. Ambrose assigns English as the Prime Minister's bodyguard, ordering him to kill the Premier with a pistol disguised as lipstick. English partially resists the drug, fighting with himself to buy Tucker time to interrupt communication between Ambrose and English. Tucker succeeds, feeding radio music to English which makes him dance. Ambrose reasserts his command, only to expose himself in the process as Tucker redirects his voice to the overhead speakers. English fully resists the drug and shoots at Ambrose, who escapes.

The chemical enters its final stage and English seemingly dies of heart failure. The paramedics fail to apply CPR but Kate kisses him on the lips, reviving him and boosting his heart rate. English pursues Ambrose, parachuting from the building and hijacking a snowmobile. The two confront each other in a cable car, and English beats him in hand-to-hand combat only to fall out of the car. Ambrose shoots English, who attempts to shield himself with the umbrella; instead he shoots a rocket and destroys the cable car, proving Tucker correct.

English's success is rewarded, and he is due to have his knighthood reinstated by The Queen. As the ceremony takes place, the apparent Queen reveals herself to be the cleaner assassin in disguise and attacks English with the knighting sword. English fends her off and chases her through the palace, leaping on her back in front of Pegasus and the Premier. The guards enter with the real assassin caught, and the film closes on English's horrified expression as he realises he attacked the Queen.

A post-credits scene, influenced by the barber scene in The Great Dictator, sees English preparing a meal for Kate to the tune of "In the Hall of the Mountain King".


Main Cast[edit]

  • Rowan Atkinson as MI7 Agent Johnny English, an accident-prone but good-hearted spy.
  • Gillian Anderson as MI7 Head Pamela Thornton/Pegasus, the new head of MI7.
  • Rosamund Pike as Kate Sumner, MI7's behavioral psychologist and English's love interest. Pike previously appeared in Die Another Day from the James Bond franchise which this film spoofs.
  • Dominic West as Simon Ambrose, a MI7 agent and the main antagonist in the film. He is the third and final member of Vortex.
  • Daniel Kaluuya as Agent Colin Tucker, English's youthful sidekick, naive yet highly observant.

Supporting Cast[edit]

  • Tim McInnerny as Patch Quartermain, MI7's wheelchair-bound quartermaster, who has lost his legs and right arm due to accidents with explosive devices.
  • Pik-Sen Lim as the Killer Cleaner, a hiree of Vortex who encounters English during his missions and thwarts him repeatedly.
  • Burn Gorman as Slater, a corrupt MI7 intelligence expert and Ambrose's accomplice.
  • Joséphine de La Baume as Madeleine, Ambrose's seductive henchwoman.
  • Stephen Campbell Moore as the British Prime Minister.
  • Lobo Chan as Xiang Ping, the Chinese Premier.

Special Participation[edit]


Johnny English drives 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.[8]


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.[9]

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, reported that Gillian Anderson would be playing MI7 Secret Agent, Pamela Head.

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 from the original film is quoted four times in the score. Ben Miller, who played Bough in the previous movie appeared, but his scenes were cut from the final film.


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.

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 $159,270,879.[13]


Much like its predecessor, the film received mixed reviews from critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 39% of 87 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".[14] 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.[15] CinemaScore polls reported that the average grade moviegoers gave the film was a "B" on an A+ to F scale.[16]

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).[17] 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.[18]

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.[19]

Awards & Nominations[edit]

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


  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. ^ "Johnny English Reborn Rolls-Royce Phantom". 9 September 2011. Retrieved 4 July 2012. 
  9. ^ Tatiana Siegel (8 April 2010). "Universal signs up for more English". Variety. Retrieved 7 April 2010. 
  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 (2011) - International Box Office Results - Box Office Mojo". BoxOfficeMojo. 
  14. ^ "Johnny English Reborn (2011)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  15. ^ "Johnny English Reborn Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 22 October 2011. 
  16. ^ 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 22 October 2011. Retrieved 22 October 2011. 
  17. ^ Pomeranz, Margaret; Stratton, David. "Johnny English Reborn Review". At The Movies TV Show and Website. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  18. ^ "Johnny English Reborn – Nikhat Kazmi". The Times of India. Retrieved 1 October 2011. 
  19. ^ "Johnny English Reborn".
  20. ^ "Past Years Awards". Retrieved 8th February 2017
  21. ^ "Evening Standard British Film Awards for 2011 - SHORTLIST REVEALED". standard, Retrieved 8th February 2017

External links[edit]