Johnny English Strikes Again

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Johnny English Strikes Again
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDavid Kerr
Screenplay byWilliam Davies
Based onCharacters
by Neal Purvis
Robert Wade
William Davies
Produced by
CinematographyFlorian Hoffmeister
Edited byMark Everson
Music byHoward Goodall
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release dates
  • 5 October 2018 (2018-10-05) (United Kingdom)
  • 10 October 2018 (2018-10-10) (France)
  • 26 October 2018 (2018-10-26) (United States)
Running time
89 minutes[2]
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • China
  • United States
Budget$25 million[4]
Box office$159 million[4]

Johnny English Strikes Again is a 2018 spy action comedy film directed by David Kerr.[1] It is the sequel to Johnny English Reborn (2011) and is the third instalment of the Johnny English series. The film stars Rowan Atkinson in the title role, alongside Ben Miller, Olga Kurylenko, Jake Lacy and Emma Thompson. The film follows the titular MI7 agent who is called into action, when all undercover operatives are exposed in a cyber attack.

The film was released in cinemas in the United Kingdom on 5 October 2018 and in the United States on 26 October 2018, by Universal Pictures. The film received slightly negative reviews from critics but was a box office success, grossing $159 million worldwide with its $25 million budget.


Seven years after the second film, a cyber attack exposes MI7’s field agents, forcing the agency to reinstate older inactive agents, including Johnny English. Now a geography teacher, he secretly trains his students in espionage.

Accidentally incapacitating the other retired agents, English is the sole agent left to accept the mission. He insists on his old sidekick and MI7 clerk, Angus Bough. Collecting their equipment, including explosive jelly babies and a tracker disguised as a Sherbet Fountain, English and Bough leave behind their mobile and drive an old Aston Martin to France to investigate.

They arrive at the Hotel Magnifique in Antibes, where the cyber attack originated. Undercover as waiters, they steal a mobile with a photo of the next target, the Dot Calm yacht, and English accidentally sets fire to the restaurant. Sneaking onto the yacht, he and Bough are caught by Russian operative Ophelia Bhuletova, but escape after seeing many computer servers.

Pursuing Bhuletova's electric BMW through the countryside, English and Bough run out of fuel. She finds them, arranging to meet at the Hotel de Paris in Cagnes-sur-Mer. While English meets her at the hotel bar, Bough discovers she is a spy, but English rejects his suspicions. Attempting to kill him upon nightfall, she fails after a sleepless English accidentally takes energy pills instead of sleeping pills.

Further cyber attacks force the Prime Minister to solidify an agreement with Silicon Valley billionaire Jason Volta, to be revealed during a forthcoming G12 meeting.

Learning Volta owns the Dot Calm, and suspecting he is behind the cyber attack, English and Bough return home. Seeking proof, they must infiltrate Volta's mansion. In preparation, English is given a virtual reality exploration of the building. However, he unintentionally leaves the simulation room, assaulting various people while in the virtual environment (including battering the manager of a local cafe with two baguettes, and commandeering an Open Top Routemaster by pushing the tour guide off the top deck).

Arriving at the mansion, English discovers Bhuletova is also a spy. He records evidence of Volta's plans with her iPhone, but accidentally presses the wrong button, playing music from the phone and exposing himself. English escapes, hijacking a driving instructor's car, returning to MI7 after being chased by Volta.

However, English mixes up iPhones with a driving student, (Pauline McLynn) so fails to convince MI7 and the Prime Minister of Volta's schemes. Hearing of both the restaurant and virtual reality incidents, she fires English, Bough and Pegasus and proceeds with the G12 meeting in Scotland. Bough convinces him to stop Volta anyway, enlisting his wife Lydia's aid, a Navy captain of submarine HMS Vengeance, to arrive at Garroch Castle via Loch Nevis.

Bhuletova attempts to kill Volta but, knowing she is a spy, he has immunized himself to her poison ring and removed her gun's firing pin. Scaling the castle using a powered bodysuit, English intervenes before Volta can kill her, who escapes. Volta plans to extort the G12 leaders by threatening to shut down the internet. English calls MI7, forgetting Lydia's warning about using a mobile near the submarine.

An MI7 secretary unintentionally places two telephones next to each other: one on a call from English, the other from Lydia, calling to confirm a launch code English inadvertently keyed in. Mistakenly given the order to attack by English, Lydia launches a ballistic missile. The missile diverts to a Sherbet Fountain beacon left by English on the Dot Calm, destroying the yacht and Volta's server. English, in a suit of armour, Bough and Bhuletova chase Volta to his helicopter as he starts to reroute the attack to a server in Nevada.

Bhuletova gives English a tablet to disable Volta's Aerospatiale Gazelle helicopter. When Volta mocks English's inability to use digital technology, he throws the tablet at Volta, hitting him in the head and knocking him out, then smashes his phone with a sword to stop the attack. The Prime Minister praises and forgives English for his attitude, who accidentally disrobes before the press and G12 leaders while removing the armor.

English returns to his school as a guest speaker, welcomed by his students. However, to his horror, he sees the headmaster about to eat one of the explosive Jelly babies.



In May 2017, it was announced that Rowan Atkinson would be returning to take the role of Johnny English in the sequel to the film Johnny English Reborn (2011).[10] On 3 August 2017, Working Title Films announced that they had begun production and filming with the director David Kerr.[5][11] The cinematographer was Florian Hoffmeister. This is the second spy film starring both Rowan Atkinson and Edward Fox, who appears in a minor role as the retired Agent Nine (Atkinson and Fox had both appeared earlier in the 1983 non-Eon James Bond film Never Say Never Again).

The production designer was Simon Bowles, who won an award for his designs for this movie at the 2019 British Film Designers Guild Awards, shared with set decorator Liz Griffiths and supervising art director Ben Collins. Parts were also filmed in Welham Green, Hertfordshire; and in Gloucestershire.[12][13] Filming continued in France from 26 September, at the Saint Aygulf beach in Var.[7]

On 4 April 2018, the title was revealed to be Johnny English Strikes Again, with a teaser trailer released the day after.[14][15][16]


The car that Johnny English drives was an Aston Martin V8 Vantage (1977). The car is personally owned by Rowan Atkinson, who drove it during car scenes in the movie. He bought the car a few months prior to the production of the film.[17]



Johnny English Strikes Again was scheduled to be released in both the United Kingdom and United States on 12 October 2018 by Universal Pictures;[10][18] the date for the United States was later moved up to 20 September 2018, before being pushed back to 26 October 2018.[19] It was released in Portugal on 5 October 2018 by Cinemax Angola.[20]

Home media[edit]

The film was set to be released digitally on 4 February 2019, and on DVD, Blu-Ray, and 4K UltraHD format on 18 February, alongside a box set of all three movies in the franchise.[21] In Australia, the film's digital release was moved up to 19 December 2018 while the Blu-Ray and DVD release in the United States and Canada was 22 January 2019.


Box office[edit]

Johnny English Strikes Again has grossed $4.4 million in the United States and Canada, and $154.5 million elsewhere (including $23.2 million in the United Kingdom), for a total worldwide gross of $159 million.[4]

In the United States and Canada, Johnny English Strikes Again was released alongside Hunter Killer and Indivisible as well as the wide expansion of Mid90s, and was projected to gross around $2 million from 544 theaters in its opening weekend.[22] It ended up debuting to $1.6 million, finishing 12th at the box office.[23] Deadline Hollywood noted the film's American release was essentially a formality, as it was not built for the audience in the United States, and thus the low opening wasn't seen as a disappointment to the studio.[24]

Outside North America, the film debuted to $5.5 million in the United Kingdom and grossed $14.1 million overall in its second week for a to date total gross of $66.5 million.[25] In its third weekend of international release, the film added another $9.8 million from 57 countries, including a $2.4 million opening in Germany, and a running cume of $96 million.[26]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 37% based on 109 reviews, with an average rating of 4.8/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Johnny English Strikes Again might get a few giggles out of viewers pining for buffoonish pratfalls, but for the most part, this sequel simply strikes out."[27] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 39 out of 100, based on 22 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[28]


In a Reddit AMA thread in October 2018, when asked about more Johnny English films, Rowan Atkinson replied with: "I doubt it but thank you very much for implying you'd like to see another one. But at the same time...never say never ;)".[29]


  1. ^ Atkinson co-produced the film with Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Chris Clark but the Producers Guild of America awarded sole producers credit to Bevan, Fellner and Clark; Atkinson was instead uncredited for his producer job in the film’s final cut.[1]
  2. ^ He is the only non-European of the three main antagonists of the franchise: unlike Pascal Sauvage (from the first film, who was French) and Simon Ambrose (from Johnny English Reborn, who was British), Volta is American and represents the typical American tech billionaire: billionaire, young, good looking and owner of a powerful company from Silicon Valley.
  3. ^ In the Johnny English franchise, whoever leads MI7 is codenamed "Pegasus" and is known by that codename until retirement or forced departure from the position of head of MI7. It is the equivalent of the M in the James Bond franchise (those who lead MI6 receive the codename M and are known by that codename until retirement or forced departure from the position of head of MI6). Due to this, his true name is unknown.


  1. ^ a b "Johnny English Strikes Again". Universal Pictures. 29 September 2018.
  2. ^ "Johnny English Strikes Again". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  3. ^ Ward, Sarah (17 September 2018). "Reviews: 'Johnny English Strikes Again': Review". Screen Daily. Retrieved 14 October 2021.
  4. ^ a b c "Johnny English Strikes Again (2018)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 14 April 2019.
  5. ^ a b Perry, Spencer (3 August 2017). "Johnny English 3 Begins Production". Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  6. ^ Horton, Kim (13 September 2017). "Filming for comedy blockbuster comes to Gloucestershire".
  7. ^ a b Amalric, L. (27 September 2017). "Les photos du premier jour de tournage de Johnny English 3 dans le Var". Nice-Matin (in French). Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  8. ^ a b c d e "Johnny English 3". IMDb.
  9. ^ "Official Site Johnny English 3". 12 October 2018.
  10. ^ a b Richardson, Jay (18 May 2017). "Rowan Atkinson to make Johnny English 3". Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  11. ^ @Working_Title (3 August 2017). "He's back! #JohnnyEnglish3" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  12. ^ Davies, Alan (4 September 2017). "Johnny English 3 movie being filmed in Welham Green". Archived from the original on 9 October 2017. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  13. ^ Horton, Kim (13 September 2017). "Film crews have descended on a top Gloucestershire location and this is what they're shooting". Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  14. ^ "Brand New Trailer Arrives for Johnny English Strikes Again!". 28 August 2018. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  15. ^ "Prepare for the Johnny English Strikes Again Teaser with a Look Back". 4 April 2018.
  16. ^ "The Johnny English Strikes Again Trailer!". 5 April 2018.
  17. ^ "Johnny English Strikes Again EXCLUSIVE Clip: Choosing The Perfect Car". 19 October 2018. Retrieved 25 June 2023.
  18. ^ @TomLinay (17 May 2017). "For those interested, Johnny English..." (Tweet). Retrieved 4 August 2017 – via Twitter.
  19. ^ Evry, Max (3 January 2018). "Johnny English 3 Release Date Announced". Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  20. ^ "Cinemax - É um espectáculo - Johny English: Volta Atacar". (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 20 October 2018. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  21. ^ "Johnny English Strikes Again 4K Blu-ray".
  22. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (24 October 2018). "'Halloween' to Make Another Killing at the Box Office". Variety. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  23. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (28 October 2018). "'Halloween' Screams $32M Second Weekend As October B.O. Moves Toward Record". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  24. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (29 October 2018). "'Johnny English Strikes Again' Strikes Gold: Why The Spy Spoofs Bond Outside U.S." Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  25. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (7 October 2018). "'Venom' Sinks Teeth Into $205M Global Bow; Sets Biggest October Debut WW – International Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  26. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (21 October 2018). "'Venom' Licks $461M Global; 'Star Is Born' Strums Past $200M; 'Halloween' Takes $92M WW Bow – International Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  27. ^ "Johnny English Strikes Again (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  28. ^ "Johnny English Strikes Again reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  29. ^ Atkinson, Rowan (24 October 2018). "I'm Rowan Atkinson, star of JOHNNY ENGLISH STRIKES AGAIN, AMA!" (Reddit comment). Archived from the original on 22 July 2023. Retrieved 22 July 2023 – via Reddit.

External links[edit]