[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 24 April, 2003, 14:22 GMT 15:22 UK
Johnny English: Your views
Rowan Atkinson
Johnny English is being used by tourist chiefs to promote London
Rowan Atkinson plays a hapless secret agent in British spy spoof film Johnny English.

He is joined by John Malkovich in the traditional baddie role and Natalie Imbruglia who returns to her acting roots as the love interest.

"With Pierce Brosnan already playing James Bond for laughs, there really is no need for another spy spoof, particularly one with so few jokes," said BBC News Online's Matthew Slater.

So what did you think?

BBC News Online users sent in their views.

I thought Johnny English was the biggest piece of rubbish to hit the big screen this year! I'm a fan of Rowan Atkinson and the Blackadder series but this film was very predictable and not that funny.
Michael Gibbins, England

OK, fairly predictable but some absolute gems made it all worthwhile. In particular, the "muscle relaxant" scene left me with a full set of broken ribs.
Dave Hollick, UK

What a horrible review by Matthew Slater - does he not appreciate the not-so-serious side of life? This is of course a spoof comedy, targeted to a well-defined international audience, but I thought it was fantastic and really good fun. The bit when they break into the HQ was fantastic and I cried for over an hour with my wife beside be, nearly falling onto the floor.
Anon, UK

Rowan, big up to you! You truely are a comic genius!
Charmaine Gilbert, UK
Let me emphasise this: JE is not Bean does Bond. Johnny English is a character in his own right. Come on! Bean wouldn't get Nat Imbruglia, would he?

Plot and script need a leg-up from Curtis and Elton but ultimately it's a Bond spoof and Bond isn't exactly highbrow material!

Rowan saves the film from disaster, combining the verbal acidity of Blackadder with his unique brand of physical comedy.

I noticed too a different side to his acting, a more subtle side. Specially with the ladies...

Rowan, big up to you! You truely are a comic genius! Just no more Bean, pleeease!!!
Charmaine Gilbert, UK

This is the best movie I have ever seen!!!!
Miqdad Ali, United Kingdom

When my friends told me they wanted to see that movie, I was horrified 'cos I hate Mr Bean, his faces don't make me laugh...Yet, I'm curious about what the British find funny so I finally went to see it reluctantly, and I must admit I bursted out laughing hysterically throughout the whole movie.

It's wickedly funny, well done to Atkinson and B. Miller,even if I was very disappointed by J. Malkovitch's performance: his pseudo-French accent is terrible, but not in a funny way... in my opinion! Ne boudons pas notre plaisir pour le reste! Go and see it!
Roux Helene, France

I can't believe that no-one has picked up that this is a rip off of James Bond Am I the only one?
Prof G Kembery, South Wales

There was rarely a moment I wasn't laughing throughout the film and all my friends agreed it was brilliant
Anon, UK
Excellent film, shows well the talents of Rowan Atkinson. Please can we have a speed camera missile attachment, weapon of mass merriment!
Richard Francis, UK

I went to see this with friends on Friday not really expecting much - it was just an excuse to go out and eat ice-cream! - but I was very pleasantly surprised. Rowan Atkinson and Ben Miller as the unfortunate Bough were both on top form, and John Malkovich's so obviously over-the-top French accent was hilarious.

Honestly, I feel very sorry for the arty snobs who consider films made simply to entertain, rather than as a form of high art, are worth nothing more than their contempt. They may be "childish" but who doesn't need to be a kid now and then - especially these days! I tell you, you're missing out on a great laugh.
Sianne, Midlands, UK

This is the funniest film I have ever seen, I haven't laughed so much at the cinema, even Austin Powers wasn't this funny. I ached from laughing.
Eleanor Gibb, UK

Matthew Slater really needs to actually watch the film..."So few jokes". There was rarely a moment I wasn't laughing throughout the film and all my friends agreed it was brilliant.
Anon, UK

Sorry to disagree with most of the comments on this subject - but this was quite simply the worst film I've seen since Pearl Harbour
Dan Dove, England
Saw the film yesterday and loved it. It reminded me of Rowan Atkinson's character Blackadder as well as his Mr Bean. An excellent comedy with some great laughs... I hope it goes well when released in the US.
David Jones, UK

I saw the film on Saturday, and it was extremely funny! I did find that the best parts I'd already seen from TV clips and adverts, which took away some of the supprise value.
Marc, UK

Took my daughter to see this film last night, and thought if was great entertainment. Some of the scenes you knew what to expect, but they were still hilarious. It says it all when the crowd in the cinema were laughing all around us, and we emerged with grins on our faces, totally entertained. Nice one Mr Atkinson. We look forward to Johnny English 2.
Janice Silcock, England

Sorry but I thought it was awful, really predictable! It was mildly amusing for the first 20 minutes and then all the jokes were repeated and you knew what was going to happen next...
Alison Braganza, Reigate, UK

Wow, I'm amazed at these comments. I simply didn't laugh once! The script was wafer thin, without even the "take over the world" motivations usually found in this type of movie. Compared with the Richard Curtis material Rowan has had in the past, this was a real let down. Still, I love the character, so maybe the sequel...
Ben Bufton, UK

Granted, you have to be in the mood to watch it, but if you fancy laughing till you cry, then this comes highly recommended!
Genie, UK
I saw Johnny English on the night it came out in a packed cinema that rocked with laughter. It isn't a clever film, it's not high art, but why should it be? It is just very funny indeed.
George, United Kingdom

I knew the kids would want to see this and they weren't disappointed. All of us laughed out loud. An hour and a half of silliness, not a bad thing these days. Well done Rowan Atkinson et al!
Jules, UK

Very funny, simply highly entertaining and what's wrong with that? A brilliant film with wonderful physical comedy and manages to keeps the laughs coming thick and fast. It may have a wafer thin plot but considering how funny it is, it doesn't really matter. Neither Austin or James have anything to worry about. For James will always be a classic and Austin is far dirtier and will always get a good teenage audience.
Alexander Wright, Manchester, England

My husband, 10-year-old stepson and I went to see Johnny English at the weekend. It was great for all of us, we all laughed a lot and thought it was brilliant. Nice to have a good bit of light heartedness in this current climate. Well done to the actors and makers of the film.
Lesley, UK

Sorry to disagree with most of the comments on this subject - but this was quite simply the worst film I've seen since Pearl Harbour and far, far less amusing. John Malkovich must need the money.
Dan Dove, England

Went to see it with a mate of mine over the weekend, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Granted, you have to be in the mood to watch it, but if you fancy laughing till you cry, then this comes highly recommended!
Genie, UK

I thought this film was awful. It may be that that I just don't like this type of humour (couldn't stand Mr Bean). The jokes were obvious five mins before they happened and were painful to watch. Atkinson is a long way from the great humour in Blackadder. Good for kids I'd guess as the humour really is that juvenile.
Antony, Wales

Johnny English is a very funny film. Hadn't had a good laugh or seen such a good British film in ages. Worth watching!
Peter Hutchison, England

Quite simply one of the funniest films I've seen in a long time. I don't usually laugh out loud in cinemas but we were crying with laughter at some of the scenes. The plot and even jokes may be REALLY obvious at times, but it is so well acted and written that somehow that doesn't matter.

Mr Bean was way too over the top for me. This is pitched just right. A great film!
Tim Gaywood, Wales

A painfully unbearable film to watch, luckily you can see exactly what's coming so it gives you chance to look away
Rachel, England
I'm sorry, but I totally diagree with your reviewer's comments. I saw Johnny English last night (Fri 11 Aprl) and I've not laughed so much for ages. I'm a big James Bond fan and this was so cool. I found it a bit slow at first, but the laughs build up towards the end. I was crying with laughter. I'm off to see it again this week. I can throughly recommend it.
Steve, Liverpool, UK

There is really no need to think of so much when one goes to watch such movies. I was entertained, so were the others who were laughing out loud in the cinema, and the film was a complete success in my opinion!
Nicholas Tsao, Singapore

I went to see Johnny English with my boyfriend last night and thought it was so funny, I was nearly in tears from laughing so much. The whole cinema was in laughter throughout the film as well. There are best bits, including the bathroom scene. I won't say too much to spoil it for other people, but it is extremely funny. Some bits did seem Mr. Bean-ish. But definitely well-worth watching. I don't think Pierce Brosnan has got much to worry about.
Lottie, Oxford, UK

Johnny English is really funny, and good for the kids to watch. It opens up the spy spoof for the younger kids!
Ashley, England

I saw the film in Germany yesterday and thought it was absolutely awful - it was the English version - so nothing was missed in dodgy translations - it was totally predictable and I agree with Dan Dove's comments - Mr Malkovich must need money (although he had an awful French accent). Nevertheless the Germans in the audience were rolling around the floor laughing.
Martin C, Germany (originally from UK)

Did I see the same film as most of the people commenting? When the funniest line in a film is "Rubber toys and soft cheese" you know you are in trouble. A painfully unbearable film to watch, luckily you can see exactly what's coming so it gives you chance to look away. Tried to compare it to another horrendous film I'd seen and drew a blank, this is without rival the most terrible, uninspired pile of donkey pants I have ever had the misfortune to part with money for.
Rachel, England

So what if the plot is paper thin? So are the plots of James Bond and Austin Powers. It's a great laugh - let's have Johnny English 2.

My daughter's comment - "Holy cow, that was brilliant!!"
Judy and Brigitta, Australia

OK, it's predictable but half the fun was seeing Johnny getting out of the situations only he can get in to
Nick Fowler, UK
Awful, terrible, dreary and shallow. I would have walked out if I'd gone to see it on my own. The "jokes" were ripped off from other Bond spoofs (or from the original Barclay Card ads that spawned this appalling character) and where generally visible coming over the horizon. I want those wasted minutes of my life back!
Matt, UK

Lighten up you lot! You know what you are in for, take it for what it is... a funny, harmless movie that the whole family can laugh at. Now that's good news these days!
Sian Damon, UK

I don't think there is much point in judging this film by anything other than how much it made you laugh. It has no plot, it has no subtlety, but the audience roared almost non-stop for an hour and a half. Austin Powers was much more clever, but it didn't manage nearly as many laughs. Matthew Slater - lighten up.
Richard, Germany

Simply put very, very funny. Saw it with my daughter and her friend and we all laughed from begining to end. Well done.

The reviewer must have had a bad day as his review was so negative and almost stopped me going to see it.

He was wrong wrong wrong. More balanced reviews in future please.

Roll on Johnny English 2. (And Bean 2!!!)
Mike Batt, England

I took my young nephews to see it and they loved it. I enjoyed it too, but it was definitely pitched at young boys - lots of poo jokes etc. On a related subject, if they're still wondering who should play the next James Bond, then may I suggest Greg Wise, who established himself beautifully in about four lines as a "real" secret agent in an early scene of Johnny English.
Georgie, Australia

The only funny bits were Atkinson either in a condescending Blackadder persona or a ridiculous Mr Bean one.
Nathan Bacon, UK

Although many criticise its predictability, the fact that you still split your sides with laughter despite the fact that you know what's coming is a testimony to Atkinson's comic genius. Who can dispute the laugh-out-loud hilariousness of this gem of a film?
Alex Webb, UK

We took our children (6, 9) to see this last weekend - it was obviously aimed at them, though we all enjoyed it. The target audience is different from Austin Powers I would say. Did anyone else spot that both the main character and his sidekick are basically a reprise of the Barclaycard adverts from a few years ago?
Martin Rogers, England

To Prof G Kembery, South Wales, I believe the film itself was marketed as a Bond spoof, Where have you been Prof?
Andrew Lock, England

I am a huge Rowan Atkinson fan and when I heard they were making a film from the old Barclaycard ads, I hoped the film would not go the way of other TV-to-cinema films and be very weak with recycled gags but this was a pleasant suprise. OK, it's predictable but half the fun was seeing Johnny getting out of the situations only he can get in to. I loved this film even though it had the compulsive poo gag which is sadly a feature of all comedy films but anything with Rowan Atkinson in is a rare treat.
Nick Fowler, UK

I went to see this film last Wednesday, as I really enjoy the things Rowan Atkinson is in. I thought it was one of the best comedy films in ages, one that surpasses the humour of the Austin Powers films. The reviews for it in the newspapers gave it a terrible write-up but they were wrong. It was funny, well crafted and had some really memorable moments (especially the muscle relaxant section). It cannot really be compared with Blackadder, as it is funny in different ways, but still matches up to those series'. An excellent alright film. I really recommend it. And to Prof G Kembery, of course it's a rip of James Bond. That's the point of a spoof!
Thomas Martins, UK

This was one of the funniest movies I have seen all year!
Jill, Barbados
I wanted to like this film, I really did, but poor scripts, despicable anti-French sentiments and the utter contempt shown towards the Celtic nations is unforgivable. England is not an island or a nation state, and to present it as such is deeply offensive to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Richard Wyn Tomos, Wales

Johnny is my hero! I wish I could be like him !!
Tony Twix, UK South wales

Clearly Matthew Slater has no sense of humour. This is another roaringly funny movie containing comic genius Rowan Atkinson. See it as soon as possible, as for you Mr Slater, why do you have to take yourself so seriously???
Ed, UK

Johnny English is truly a superb British comedy which we haven't had for so long. Rowan Atkinson is such a talented actor- his blend of physical comedy and verbal acidity are simply wonderful. I wonder if we'll see him in any serious drama. The film, at times, is slightly predictable but it doesn't matter. It still stands as a classic piece of comedy and, as Austin Powers has had his day, we will hopefully be treated to a whole series of Johnny English movies. Well done Rowan!
Liam Elvish, England

This was definitely one of the best films I have ever seen and trust me, I have seen loads. The whole cinema was in stitches laughing. There were a lot of jokes and it's certainly a-must see film. I just can't wait till it comes out on video and DVD.
Matthew Halligan, England

A very funny comedy, if you like purile and toilet-based humour that is. Mind you, I'm still laughing at Prof Kembery's remark...
Christopher Teague, South Wales

Matthew Slater's acidic review was totally unjustified and could only have come from someone with no concept of what constitutes good British comedy. It was nothing like Austin Powers. It was reasonably funny for a start. I had my doubts about whether a character from a 30 second advert would sustain a feature film, but I think it worked rather well. No real belly laughs but entertaining all the same.
Chris, Germany & UK

This was one of the funniest movies I have seen all year! An evening of absolutely sidesplitting laughs from beginning to end. It is so wonderful to see a movie which lives up to its billing as a comedy. Rowan Atkinson (a long time favourite since I watched my first Black Adder episode) is simply great. He is sardonic, witty, foolish, cunning, quick and slow-witted in turn (the cemetery scene was just hilarious). Sometimes I think that movie critics take themselves far too seriously. Yes, we are all entitled to our opinion, but sometimes a movie is simply just meant to entertain, and this one certainly does that in no uncertain terms.
Jill, Barbados

Some of the stunts/jokes may have been predictable but this was modern-day British comedy at its best. Great fun and without any unnecessary violence and bad language. Like others - let's see Johnny English 2.
Chris G, UK

Very funny film. Had me laughing from the start. Matthew Slater wants to take the blinkers off and look for a sense of humour.
Duncan Cropper, England

I`ve watched this brilliant person proceed thru more characters than I can imagine. I only hope Mr Atkinson continues find new ways to split my sides for a long time to come.
Shannon, Australia

Johnny English lets country down
06 Apr 03  |  Entertainment
Spy comedy to promote London
31 Mar 03  |  England
Williams records spy spoof theme
28 Mar 03  |  Entertainment
Imbruglia makes spy spoof debut
05 Apr 02  |  Entertainment

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific