Johnny English Reborn (PG – Dir: Oliver Parker – Stars: Rowan Atkinson, Dominic West, Rosamund Pike, Gillian Anderson)
“Better, English, better,” is the verdict on Johnny’s second outing.
Atkinson is excellent, the plot’s suitable improbable, the cast is top notch, there’s good micky-taking fun with Bond-like gizmos clichés, the gag count is not bad, production levels are high, and it proceeds at a fair pace.
After an unfortunate mishap when the president of Mozambique is assassinated, a banished and de-knighted English is finding his inner karma in Tibet when the call comes from Her Majesty to put his ‘skills’ at the service of his country once again. But Johnny had trouble keeping up in the old world of spying, and the new one is even quicker.
One or two hilarious moments, and lots of chuckles. Good left out gags in the Extras, if you fancy a laugh there.
Hesher (15 – Dir: Spencer Susser – Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rainn Wilson, Natalie Portman, Devin Brochu)
Hesher is a surprising allegory for grief.
TJ (Brochu) loses his mother in a car crash, and struggles to understand the despair he feels at so irrational and incomprehensible an event
While he is the sane heart of the film, the adults in his new life go into a state of excess. His father ceases to function. His grandma is strangely distant.
The family home is taken over by wild metalhead Hesher (Gordon-Levitt) who fluctuates between extreme aggression and odd moments of kindness. Check-out girl Nicole (Portman) is a possible mother substitute, until she too lets him down.
Can he find a way through the madness?
One Day (12 – Dir: Lone Scherfig – Stars: Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturges)
Emma and Dexter meet at uni and form a platonic relationship which, while they pursue their different careers and fortunes, undermines their love interests with other partners.
By the time they get back to that starting point considerable damage has been done, and any happiness they share is fleeting.
Hathaway’s Yorkshire (I think) accent wobbles every now and again, but she captures Emma’s decent, unworldly approach to life and love.