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Atkinson shines as Johnny English Reborn 

Lots of silliness, but a solid cast produces some good laughs

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Rowan Atkinson doesn’t need a gargantuan budget to be funny. (Remember Mr. Bean or the Blackadder series?) 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.

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