|Johnny English Strikes Again|
|Directed by||David Kerr|
|Screenplay by||William Davies|
by Neal Purvis
|Edited by||Mark Everson|
|Music by||Howard Goodall|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$159 million|
Johnny English Strikes Again is a 2018 action spy comedy film directed by David Kerr. A sequel to Johnny English Reborn (2011), it is the third and final instalment of the Johnny English series. The film stars Rowan Atkinson in the title role, alongside Ben Miller, Olga Kurylenko, Jake Lacy and Emma Thompson. The film follows the titular MI7 agent who is called into action, when all undercover operatives are exposed in a cyber attack.
The film was released in cinemas in the United Kingdom on 5 October 2018 and in the United States on 26 October 2018, by Universal Pictures. The film received generally mixed reviews from critics but was a box office success, grossing $159 million worldwide, with a budget of $25 million.
Seven years after the events of Reborn, a cyber attack exposes MI7’s field agents, forcing the agency to reinstate older inactive agents, including Johnny English. Now working as a geography teacher, he secretly trains his students in espionage. English accidentally incapacitates the other retired agents, leaving him alone to accept the mission. He insists on the services of his old sidekick Jeremy Bough, still an MI7 clerk. Collecting their equipment, including explosive jelly babies and a tracker disguised as a Sherbet Fountain, English and Bough leave behind their mobile phones and drive an old Aston Martin to the source of the attack in France.
They arrive at the Hotel Magnifique in Antibes, where the cyber attack originated. Disguised as waiters, they steal a mobile phone with a photograph of their next target, a yacht named the Dot Calm. While flambéing shrimp, English accidentally sets fire to the restaurant. Sneaking onto the yacht, English and Bough are caught by Russian operative Ophelia Bhuletova, but escape after finding a vast array of computer servers on board.
Pursuing Bhuletova's electric BMW i3 through the countryside, English and Bough run out of fuel. Bhuletova finds them and agrees to meet at the Hotel de Paris in Cagnes-sur-Mer. While English meets Bhuletova at the hotel bar, Bough discovers evidence revealing her to be a spy. Infatuated with Bhuletova, English rejects Bough's suspicions. Bhuletova secretly attempts to kill English, but fails to do so after he accidentally takes a pill which makes him hyperactive.
Further cyber attacks force the Prime Minister to solidify an agreement with Silicon Valley billionaire Jason Volta, to be revealed during a forthcoming G12 meeting.
Having learned that Volta owns the Dot Calm, and suspecting he is behind the cyber attack, English and Bough return home. Seeking more evidence, MI7 arranges for them to infiltrate Volta's mansion. In preparation, English is tasked to complete a virtual reality exploration of the billionaire's mansion. However, he unknowingly leaves the simulation room and assaults various members of the public whilst in the virtual environment (including battering the manager of a local cafe with two baguettes, and commandeering an open-top bus by pushing the tour guide off the bus's top deck).
Arriving at the mansion, English discovers Bhuletova is also a spy. He records evidence of Volta's plans with Bhuletova's iPhone, but he is exposed after accidentally hitting the wrong button and playing the song Rasputin by Boney M. English escapes and hijacks a driving instructor's car, returning to MI7 after being chased by Volta. However, English mixes up the phones and instead takes the driving student's phone, therefore he fails to convince MI7 and the Prime Minister of Volta's schemes. The Prime Minister, having heard about both the restaurant and virtual reality incidents, fires English and proceeds with the G12 meeting in Scotland. Bough convinces English to stop Volta anyway, enlisting the assistance of Bough's wife Lydia, the captain of Navy submarine HMS Vengeance, to arrive at Garroch Castle by Loch Nevis.
Bhuletova attempts to kill Volta, but he reveals he knows she is a spy, having immunized himself to her poison ring and removed her handgun's firing pin. Scaling the castle using a powered bodysuit, English intervenes before Volta can kill Bhuletova, who escapes. Volta reveals his plan to extort the G12 leaders by threatening to shut down the internet. English calls MI7, but forgets Lydia's warning about using a mobile phone near the submarine.
An MI7 secretary unintentionally places two telephones next to each other: one on a call from English, the other from Lydia, calling to confirm a launch code English inadvertently keyed in. Mistakenly given the order to attack by English, Lydia launches a ballistic missile. The missile diverts to a Sherbet Fountain beacon left by English on the Dot Calm, destroying the yacht and Volta's server. English, wearing a traditional suit of armour, Bough and Bhuletova chase Volta to his helicopter as he prepares to reroute the attack to a different server in Nevada.
Bhuletova gives English a tablet computer to disable Volta's Aerospatiale Gazelle helicopter. After Volta mocks his inability to use digital technology, English throws the tablet, knocking Volta out, and smashes his phone with a sword to stop the attack. The Prime Minister praises English, who accidentally disrobes before the press and G12 leaders while trying to get the armor off.
English returns to his school and is excitedly welcomed by his students. However, he realizes that the headmaster is about to eat one of the explosive Jelly babies, as the film ends.
In May 2017, it was announced that Rowan Atkinson would be returning to take the role of Johnny English in the sequel to the film Johnny English Reborn (2011). On 3 August 2017, Working Title Films announced that they had begun production and filming with the director David Kerr. The cinematographer is Florian Hoffmeister. This is the second spy film starring both Rowan Atkinson and Edward Fox, who appears in a minor role as the retired Agent Nine (Atkinson and Fox had both appeared earlier in the 1983 non-Eon James Bond film Never Say Never Again).
The production designer is Simon Bowles, who won an award for his designs for this movie at the 2019 British Film Designers Guild Awards, shared with set decorator Liz Griffiths and supervising art director Ben Collins. Parts were also filmed in Welham Green, Hertfordshire; and in Gloucestershire. Filming continued in France from 26 September, at the Saint Aygulf beach in Var.
On 4 April 2018, the title was revealed to be Johnny English Strikes Again, with a teaser trailer released the day after.
Johnny English Strikes Again was scheduled to be released in both the United Kingdom and United States on 12 October 2018 by Universal Pictures; the date for the United States was later moved up to 20 September 2018, before being pushed back to 26 October 2018. It was released on 5 October 2018 by Cinemax Angola.
The film was set to be released digitally on 4 February 2019, and on DVD, Blu-Ray, and 4K UltraHD format on February 18, alongside a box set of all three movies in the franchise. In Australia, the film's digital release was moved up to 19 December 2018 while the Blu-Ray and DVD release in the United States and Canada was January 22, 2019.
Johnny English Strikes Again has grossed $4.4 million in the United States and Canada, and $154.5 million elsewhere (including $23.2 million in the United Kingdom), for a total worldwide gross of $159 million.
In the United States and Canada, Johnny English Strikes Again was released alongside Hunter Killer and Indivisible as well as the wide expansion of Mid90s, and was projected to gross around $2 million from 544 theaters in its opening weekend. It ended up debuting to $1.6 million, finishing 12th at the box office. Deadline Hollywood noted the film's American release was essentially a formality, as it was not built for the audience in the United States, and thus the low opening wasn't seen as a disappointment to the studio.
Outside North America, the film debuted to $5.5 million in the United Kingdom and grossed $14.1 million overall in its second week for a to date total gross of $66.5 million. In its third weekend of international release, the film added another $9.8 million from 57 countries, including a $2.4 million opening in Germany, and a running cume of $96 million.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 37% based on 105 reviews, with an average rating of 4.73/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Johnny English Strikes Again might get a few giggles out of viewers pining for buffoonish pratfalls, but for the most part, this sequel simply strikes out." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 39 out of 100, based on 22 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".