Follow TV Tropes


Film / Johnny English Strikes Again

Go To
British Prime Minister: Well, you better get someone on it and find me some answers!
Pegasus: Yes, but that's the problem. We don't have any agents left. They've all been outed!
British Prime Minister: So bring back an old one!

Johnny English Strikes Again is a British spy comedy film parodying the James Bond secret agent genre. The film is the sequel to Johnny English Reborn, and was directed by David Kerr. It was released on 20th September, 2018.

When a cyber-attack reveals the identity of all active undercover agents in Britain, Johnny English becomes the secret service’s last hope. Called out of retirement, English dives head first into action with the mission to find the mastermind hacker. As a man with few skills and analogue methods, Johnny English must overcome the challenges of modern technology to make this mission a success.

Rowan Atkinson reprises his role as the title character, along with Ben Miller as his former assistant Bough, Olga Kurylenko as Russian spy Ophelia Bhuletova, Jake Lacy as billionaire Jason Volta, and Emma Thompson as the Prime Minister.

Previews: Trailer 1 (preview), Trailer 2.

Johnny English Strikes Again provides examples of:

  • 10-Minute Retirement: At the beginning, Johnny is a teacher at a prep school, before he is called back to duty.
  • Artistic License – Engineering:
    • Crippling the internet by shutting down a single junction box in Ayrshire? It doesn't work like that.
    • Subverted with the 3D-printed plastic gun — Johnny claims it's got only six shots, which would be true for guns in his time, but it's transparent and clearly a clip-fed semiauto meant to hold more than that. Then again, we've seen it fired off at least once, and people in these movies often forget to reload...
  • Artistic License – Law: A contract signed under duress has no legal bearing at all, and is null and void. Besides which, what was the point? Volta had already established that he didn't need permission to get what he wanted.
  • Artistic License – Military:
    • Pretty much everything involving the submarine. Using a nuclear-powered ballistic missile sub to provide security for a meeting of world leaders is rather odd choice to begin with. Providing a "lift" to unauthorized civilians to a secure site is a pretty serious breach of security, and the fact that the sub commander is married to one of them is no excuse. Then we have a missile launch system that has only a three-digit launch code and can be accidentally accessed by someone making a cell phone call near the surfaced sub, and the sub commander calls a spy agency rather than any military commander to confirm the order to fire. They do not confirm who they are speaking too when accepting the order to fire, either. Then after firing the missile accepts a new target without any input from the submarine, or apparently any ability by the sub to abort the attack, and it lands mere hundreds of yards from the launching sub, which would obviously have been a problem had it been a nuclear warhead. Fortunately for some reason the ballistic missile seems to have a conventional warhead instead of a nuke, so all this military ineptness doesn't end up accidentally murdering millions of people - just whoever was still on the bad guy's super-yacht, like all those chefs we saw working in the kitchen during Johnny and Bough's break-in attempt earlier.
    • An archaic example, but plate armour isn't that cumbersome to wear as the movie makes it out to be.
  • Baguette Beatdown: Johnny does this to a hapless street vendor while wearing a VR headset.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: One of the items Johnny requested from MI7 is a watch with hidden garrotte. Ophelia uses this very thing on him later, and he never even notices.
  • Big Bad: Jason Volta.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: Because the villain is carrying out cyber attacks, Johnny insists on using older equipment that can't connect to the internet. On the one hand, this means using a gorgeous classic Aston Martin. On the other hand, it also means using a brick of a portable computer that uses floppy disks.
  • Brick Joke: When going through the gadgets, Johnny stops Bough from eating a jelly baby, due to it being explosive. At the end, however, he fails to stop a headmaster from tucking into one, with the result not being shown...
  • The Bus Came Back: Jeremy Bough, English's Butt-Monkey sidekick in Johnny English, returns after only appearing in a Deleted Scene in Johnny English Reborn.
  • Call-Back: In regards to the first film. In fact this sequel is in many aspects a copy of the first film.
    • English consistently perplexing and annoying the female supporting protagonist (Ophelia in this sequel, Campbell in the first film) with his bumbling ways. The only main difference is that unlike Campbell, Ophelia wasn't inexplicably shoehorned into English's love interest.
    • English screwing up his own presentation of the evidence of the antagonist's crime confession, due to accidentally swapping the video evidence for something completely unrelated.
    • English ends up falling into a pit, just like when he almost fell into a hole dug up by the bad guys in the Tower of London, ironically rescued by Bough at the last second.
    • Before briefing, Johnny ends up screwing over staff with a special pen. Instead of one that shoots a tranquillising dart by clicking it twice, it's a stun grenade that activates in 20 seconds if you pull the cap off. With this, Johnny accidentally stuns three other retired agents that were going to take the same mission as him.
    • Once again, English ends up using a missile from his car to solve a mundane problem, where he smiles as he drives away. The first time, he destroyed a speeding camera that took photos of him. Now, he is able to clear a path in France from a group of French cyclists blocking his way.
    • When Johnny is sacked by the British Prime Minister, he solemnly walks in the rain, similar to his expulsion by Pegasus for invesigating Pascal Sauvage.
  • Call to Agriculture: Subverted - Johnny's retired and taken up teaching, but ends up passing on his spy skills to his students, who become collective prepubescent badasses.
  • Chekhov's Gun: A twofold example with the sherbet tracker Johnny sticks in Volta's boat, the Dot Calm, and the old nuclear submarine that is subsceptible to cellphone interference. When Johnny accidentally calls in orders to launch missiles from a submarine, the transmitter redirects the missiles towards the Dot Calm, stopping Volta's data theft.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Johnny gets a bottle with green energy pills and red sedatives, clearly meant as a Visual Pun (red means stop, green means go). So Johnny naturally messes it up.
  • Cool Car: English chooses to drive a beautiful Aston Martin V8 Vantage with all the usual refinements in this film.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The directory numbers English has to press while calling an automated switchboard just so happen to exactly match the launch codes for a nearby ballistic missile submarine.
  • The Door Slams You: Ophelia is victim to this by English, as she was trying to get into his room with a gun.
  • For Inconvenience, Press "1": In an attempt to call Pegasus as Volta launches his final cyberattack through his yacht, English runs into a British Intelligence IVR three times - and by doing so, accidentally transmits the codes for a nuclear strike on the yacht.
  • Funny Background Event: Through the window of a meeting room where Pegasus is, we see Johnny mistaking a tour guide as an enemy due to the former wearing a VR headset, and throwing him off the top of a double-decker bus.
  • Hidden Depths: Unexpectedly, English turns out to be a brilliant school teacher (his job after retiring from the secret service). His pupils are clearly devoted to him and he is encouraging towards them. Admittedly, training them to be budding secret agents probably isn't in his actual job description, which more along the lines of geography teacher but he is still very good at it.
  • High-Dive Escape: Becomes a Failed Attempt at Drama when instead of diving off the boat, our hero fails to notice he's diving onto a lower deck.
  • Knight's Armor Hideout: Towards the end of the movie, English hides in a suit of armour whilst he is running away from the guards. It turns out to be a Clingy Costume, him wearing it to hilarious effect.
  • Lady in Red: Ophelia is dressed in a bright red dress while at the castle.
  • Mistaken for Badass: Ophelia correctly realises English is a British secret agent but believes his bumbling is a pretense, even asking him to 'drop the idiot act' at one point.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Jason Volta is pretty clearly an Elon Musk stand-in.
  • No Endor Holocaust: A ballistic missile gets launched in the climax but the damage is remarkably limited.
  • Oh, Crap!: Johnny, when he sees the headmaster about to eat an explosive jelly baby.
  • Poison Ring: Ophelia uses a poison ring to drug Volta. However, he anticipated this, and took the antidote prior to her adding the poison to his drink.
  • Powered Armor: A exoskeletal suit with agumentation and claws, basically turning Johnny into a proto-Black Panther.
  • Rock Beats Laser: A recurring theme in the movie is about how the old-fashioned techniques Johnny is more familiar with can outdo decades of technological progress, if in a rather blunt fashion. The final confrontation has Johnny getting a tablet that should be able to hack into the getaway chopper, but Johnny gets faster results by just pelting the Big Bad with it.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: When English and Bough watch a huge fire going on at the Cote du Roc restaurant, which was accidentally started by English, they hide in bushes.
  • Slippery Skid:
    • On the boat, Johnny and Bough delays a pair of sailors by throwing minutes marbles under their feet.
    • In the castle, Johnny inside a suit of armour which he had overflowed with oil earlier in an attempt to remove it, slips on top of the stairs and then skids on his back all the way to the bottom, and then through the whole conference room, up to the doors that he accidentally closes behind him.
  • Squish the Cheeks: Johnny and his partner's faces are squeezed against the car window from the inside when Johnny accidentally inflates a rubber dinghy inside their car.
  • Superior Successor: The current Agent Pegasus surpasses the (admittedly low) bar set by his predecessor from the first film. He spends more time seeking the best agent available for the mission. He also had a slightly more active role in the first burial mission prep and doesn’t mock and dismiss Johnny for claiming that a celebrity is the Big Bad, although he requires more proof.
  • Tech Bro: Billionaire CEO villain Jason Volta, a handsome young man whose scheme involves cyberattacks, large-scale data acquisition, and a vast array of computer servers hidden on a yacht called the Dot Calm.
  • Tricked-Out Shoes: Magnetic ones, to be exact. However, using them to walk up a boat will cause other metal items in the ship to be attracted to it, which will inevitably blow the wearer's cover. English and Bough learn this the hard way.
  • Two-Keyed Lock: The missile on the submarine is launched using two keys.
  • [Verb] This!: Johnny yells "Initiate this!" to Jason Volta's phone, before stabbing it with a sword, preventing Volta's theft of data and saving the day.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Jason Volta comes very close to industrially crippling much of the world. His sudden sneer of "Shut up!" to the PM is surprisingly unnerving.
  • Wallpaper Camouflage: Johnny demonstrates this to his students, proving effective when one of his fellow teachers is looking for him in his own classroom. After the mission, one of the students does this too when he returns.
  • We Will Meet Again:
    English: Till we meet again.
    [High-Dive Escape = Failed Attempt at Drama]
    Ophelia: That was sooner than I expected.

"For god's sake, tell me the agent you got on the field is making some progress."