Sometimes I ask myself why I don’t review bigger movies more often. You’re right self, I could be reviewing Dark Knight Rises, Star Wars, and Anchorman quality movies every week. But that would make me seem shallow and narrow-minded. There are so many other movies and TV shows out there worth mentioning for one reason or another. For instance, did you know that Harry and the Hendersons is an Oscar winning film? Did I just blow your mind? Every movie to hit the silver screen has its place. (But I can’t say that’s true about TV. There are some series that just make you want to slit your wrists…and elbows…and your soul…)
(…has anyone bled to death from an elbow wound?)
Credit has to be given were credit is due. Rowan Atkinson is easily one of the best comedians of our lifetime, and he’s achieved this primarily through being a physical comedian through his Mr. Bean debacles. Every once in a while Moses returns from the mountain with new tablets declaring profound law and principles and one day he will return adding Rowan Atkinson to the list of legendary comedians who all others turn to for teachings. He will be permanently etched below names such as Charlie Chaplin and Lucille Ball. Hmm. I just added a new life goal to my list: Have dinner with Rowan Atkinson before he or I die. Or both…
But self! Why hasn’t Rowan’s career boomed as well as others? That’s a good question. Much like anything, comedy and people’s tastes change over time. To me, Rowy At’s comedy is a mixture of Inspector Clouseau, Mr. Magoo, and Tom and Jerry. Relatable and sympathy driven, while still over the top and absurd. As much as I love SNL I have a hard time watching the 90’s and early 2000’s. It’s not because it was bad, it’s because the style at that time revolved around outstanding and ridiculous characters that you only cared for because of the fantastical lines they said over and over again. That style hasn’t completely given in to the erosion of time, but the primary focus today is achieving laughs through wit and brilliant writing of dialogue. Tina Fey is the front runner of that movement in my mind. So Row’s styles don’t translate to the youth, sadly. But I can’t help loving him.
Like any lifelong comedian (who has talent), his timing is impeccable. Which is most showcased in Mr. Bean since that character says very little if anything at all. Johnny English though, speaks many suave…or not-so-suave…lines of dialogue in addition to his amazing physicality. Add in 007 styled gadgets and some bodacious bodies (I’m speaking of both Tasha de Vasconcelos and the Aston Martin) and you have yourself a recipe for hilarious well done disaster. Wait! Did I mention the villain? John Malkovich playing a frenchman! Do you feel that tingle down your spine? That’s a good movie blowing into your ear.
Think you’re too good for Johnny English? Well get off your expensive high horse who is standing on a 1st place stand good sir or madam! Thankfully for your sake available on Netflix Instant is Rowan Atkinson Live! No, it’s not a movie. No, it’s not a sitcom. It’s my homey Row Row doing live sketch comedy in Boston. You know what? Just watch both. Make a party out of it. I’ll bring dip.