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Johnny English
Johnny English poster
Directed by Peter Howitt
Produced by Tim Bevan
Eric Fellner
Mark Huffam
Written by Neal Purvis
Robert WadevWilliam Davies
Starring Rowan Atkinson
Music by Edward Shearmur
Cinematography Remi Adefarasin
Editing by Robin Sales
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release 11 April 2003
Running time 88 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $40 million
Gross revenue $160,583,018
Followed by Johnny English Reborn

Johnny English is a 2003 British action comedy film parodying the James Bond secret agent genre. The film stars Rowan Atkinson, John Malkovich and Ben Miller. Atkinson had previously appeared in the 1983 James Bond film Never Say Never Again. The screenplay was written by Bond writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, with William Davies, and the film was directed by Peter Howitt. The film grossed a total of $160 million worldwide.

Plot

The film opens with a fantasy sequence in which Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson), an inept British Intelligence agent, is "Agent One". He sneaks into a building, distracts two guard dogs with toys, knocks out two guards and seduces a woman who threatens him. He is awakened from his fantasy, just as he is about to kiss the woman, by his sidekick, Angus Bough (Ben Miller). After being assured that English has checked the submarine hatch codes personally, the real Agent One (Greg Wise) leaves on a mission. The audience then learn that Agent One died in action when his submarine hatch "failed to open". A bomb then wipes out Britain's remaining agents, all of whom were attending the funeral of Agent One, leaving only English. Nobody notices the hearse, which sped from the scene minutes earlier.

Before his death, Agent One was investigating a plot to steal the Crown Jewels. Together with Bough, English takes over the case. While investigating, English becomes attracted to a mysterious woman, Lorna Campbell (Natalie Imbruglia), whom he meets at the unveiling of the newly restored Crown Jewels, where English is in charge of the security. The power to the room is cut, and English accidentally knocks out the chief of security, before pretending to fight a criminal in another room in an attempt to cover up this fact. Later, Bough and English follow a tunnel and find the Jewels, but fail to stop the thieves after English accidentally ejects the magazine from his pistol. English chases their car, a hearse, but accidentally ends up trailing the wrong hearse after being stopped by a red light. Convinced the burial party he discovers is an act, he accuses the mourners and the priest before realizing his mistake after another man told English he was the hearse driver. Bough rescues him by pretending that English is an escaped asylum inmate.

The pair then uncovers the mastermind of the theft, French prison entrepreneur and descendant of William the Conqueror, Pascal Edward Sauvage (John Malkovich), who aided in restoring the Crown Jewels. English reports his suspicions to the head of MI7, Pegasus (Tim Pigott-Smith), but Pegasus, who is personal friends with Sauvage, dismisses his concerns as absurd and orders English to leave Sauvage alone. In the car park, one of Sauvage's henchmen attacks English and Bough, and escapes when English mistakenly attacks Bough. Against Pegasus's wishes, English and Bough infiltrate Sauvage's headquarters via parachute, but English lands on the wrong building, abseiling the identical Royal London Hospital. He holds several staff and patients at gunpoint, before realising his mistake.

English activates a DVD player, exposing Sauvage's plan to instate himself as King, using an impostor to impersonate the Archbishop of Canterbury (Oliver Ford Davies). After English accidentally injects himself with muscle relaxant during a tussle with Sauvage's henchmen, he and Bough are rescued by Lorna, who turns out to be an Interpol agent on Sauvage's tail (every major convict released from one of Sauvage's prisons in the last six months has been employed by one of his companies). Along with Bough, they gatecrash a party held by Sauvage welcoming a French ambassador. The muscle relaxant not yet worn off, English accidentally insults Foreign Secretary (Jenny Galloway). One of the henchmen reports English to Sauvage, which results in Sauvage complaining to Pegasus, who suspends English in response. Sauvage decides that English has found out too much about his original plan, and sends his henchmen to dispose of the fake Archbishop and force Queen Elizabeth II (Prunella Scales) to sign a letter of abdication by putting a gun to her pet dog. Her signing also voids the Royal Family's right to the Crown as well as that of many others in the line of succession, thus making Sauvage the automatic heir to the throne.

Lorna visits English at his flat, as his mission was reassigned to her, and persuades English to join her. They travel to France, infiltrate Sauvage's chateau, and overhear his proposal to turn the United Kingdom into a giant prison once he is crowned King. However, English accidentally triggers a microphone, alerting Sauvage to their presence. In an attempt to steal an incriminating DVD, English accidentally drops it onto a tray full of identical discs and takes the wrong one. Taken hostage, the two agents are freed by Bough and return to England on the day of the coronation.

At Sauvage's coronation, English sneaks in disguised as the representative of the English bishops. He publicly accuses Sauvage of treason, and unaware that the fake Archbishop is no longer being used, English attempts to pull off the Archbishop's face, believing it to be a mask. Failing this, English pulls down the Archbishop's trousers to look for a tattoo borne by the impostor, which is obviously absent. English then radios to Bough to tell him to play the DVD they retrieved. Bough does so, resulting in three-quarters of the world's population watching a video of English, in a shower cap and underpants, dancing and miming along to "Does Your Mother Know" by ABBA (Sauvage had previously had English's home bugged in order to study him). English escapes, but comes back, swinging from a wire above Sauvage and the Archbishop, grabbing St Edward's Crown before it touches Sauvage's head. Sauvage reveals his true intentions to London by pulling a gun and shooting at English. A bullet grazes English's hand and he drops the crown, but before the Archbishop can crown Sauvage, English knocks him out of the throne and is inadvertently crowned himself. He places Sauvage under arrest, reveals the plot to the Queen and allows her to return to the throne in return for a knighthood.

The film ends with English driving Lorna to the top of a mountain somewhere in the south of France where Johnny accidentally presses the eject button while about to kiss her, and Lorna shoots into the sky. A mid-credits scene shows Lorna landing in a swimming pool where Bough is sitting. An orange-haired criminal described earlier by English also lowers his newspaper.

Cast

  • Rowan Atkinson as MI7 agent, Johnny English
  • John Malkovich as Pascal Edward Sauvage
  • Ben Miller as MI7 agent, Angus Bough
  • Natalie Imbruglia as Interpol Agent Lorna Campbell
  • Oliver Ford Davies as the Archbishop of Canterbury
  • Tim Pigott-Smith as Pegasus
  • Kevin McNally as the Prime Minister
  • Douglas McFerran as Klaus Vendetta
  • Steve Nicolson as Dieter Klein
  • Greg Wise as Agent One
  • Tim Berrington as Roger
  • Prunella Scales as Queen Elizabeth II
  • Tasha de Vasconcelos as Countess Alexandra (Exotic Woman)
  • Nina Young as Pegasus' secretary
  • Sam Beazley as Elderly man
  • Kevin Moore as Doctor
  • Jack Raymond as French reception waiter
  • Jenny Galloway as the Foreign Secretary
  • Chris Tarrant (voice) as Radio announcer
  • Trevor McDonald (voice) as Newscaster
Johnny English Films

Johnny EnglishJohnny English Reborn

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