Rowan Atkinson doesn’t need a gargantuan budget to be funny. (Remember Mr. Bean
or the Blackadder
Oliver Parker’s Johnny English Reborn
, the sequel to Peter Howitt’s 2003 English
debut, reinstates English as an MI7 agent after his five-year retreat as a Tibetan monk. His mission: to stop Vortex, a CIA-MI7-KGB assassination trio, from killing the Chinese premier with their “secret weapon." Meanwhile, a manic, old assassin---usually disguised as a cleaning lady---is hunting English (an unfortunate recurring joke). Gillian Anderson as Pamela, the new head of British Intelligence, and Rosamund Pike as behavioural psychologist Kate, English’s love interest, are part of a surprisingly solid cast. Too many jokes revolve around men getting hit in the groin---a cheap laugh, at best---but thankfully, silly Atkinson shines through, making for some genuinely funny moments.