Johnny English Strikes Again: why everyone needs a little bit of Bof in their life

The greatest spy to ever live, bar Austin Powers, strikes once again in the cinema to make a great trilogy of slapstick, family-friendly films that everyone enjoys. Johnny English: Strikes Again is a great example of British comedy at its best, and possibly at its driest. Sure, there are plenty of hilarious scenes that make us cry with laughter, or cry with embarrassment, but it remains true to its format and pulls all of our heart strings as we take a nice trip down memory lane of comedy which some would argue is boring. But ignoring the nay-sayers, as we do best, I thoroughly enjoyed all the English brought to the film and more. And best of all? They brought Bof back. Now my life is complete.

Starting with plot, Johnny English keeps it simple; the government, whether they like it or not, are forced to call upon Johnny English when their Internet Explorer firewall get knocked down, revealing all of Britain’s dirtiest secrets. The antagonist, who could be argued is an embodiment of the future of humanity, is a tech genius who uses his good looks and brain to woo over the prime minister – because how can we resist a young billionaire who wants to show his fancy data? This is a pure, straight forward story-line which is foreshadowed fairly quickly within the first few minutes and many would critique this as being bland since they can predict how the story will unfold from the beginning and go on to not enjoy the film at all. However, in this modern day and age, it’s difficult to watch a film without trying to predict what the outcome will be. English shatters this normality with its simplicity and focuses on just making their audience laugh, which they do greatly. Regardless, English muddles on through to complete his objective in his awkwardly fantastic way by partying all night and drinking Parmesan cheese cocktails (which I’m sure we can relate to.)

Another brilliant detail to English is the flavourful characters who are simple in design and deliver a great example. We have Johnny English, our resident dad, who never seems to have a good day and is constantly trying to figure out how technology actually functions (#relatable.) We’ve got a professional spy who admires English unusual approach to espionage, complimenting his ‘fake’ stupidity and classing him as a professional spy despite him clearly having no idea what he’s doing (once again it’s #relatable.) And putting the cherry on top, we’ve got Bof; our simple, long lasting friend whose smile brightens up the day of the weariest. He stays true to his character from the first film and is possibly the best form of continuity we’ve seen from the films. His simple character design makes our hearts melt, and much like Marley from Marley in Me if he were to get killed I wouldn’t be ashamed to shed some salty tears for a fantastic character.

So when all is said and done, is English a great film? There’s a plethora of laughable moments that makes it a brilliant comedy; if flash banging Dumbledore, setting fire to a French restaurant, assaulting random citizens in London, and decapitating a head teacher doesn’t make to giggle just a little you’ll need to refresh your humour. But whilst we’ve got these great moments the film is ultimately let down by its timing. Like I said earlier, modern society simply doesn’t find good ol’ slapstick films like this enjoyable anymore and love a bit of depth to their story that usually includes a fantastical element of sorts (marvel and J.K. Rowling I’m looking at you!) This film is way more old school and has a great nostalgic feel to it which I’d argue is still great despite the odds. Too many films nowadays have complex origins as well as references that direct to other films or media franchises, but the beauty of Johnny English is that you can just get stuck in and enjoy the film without having to care about the technicalities because it’s just so entertaining.

Conclusion: Johnny English strikes again is a good ol’ flash from the past that is fun for everyone to watch and is brilliantly relatable. And if I’m honest, we all can do with a good friend like Bof to boot.