|Johnny English is a 2003 British action comedy film parodying the James Bond secret agent genre. The film stars Rowan Atkinson (who, two decades earlier, appeared in a James Bond film – Never Say Never Again) as the incompetent titular English spy, with John Malkovich, Natalie Imbruglia, Tim Pigott-Smith and Ben Miller in supporting roles. 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.|
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 awoken from his fantasy just as he is about to kiss the woman by the real Agent One (Greg Wise), for whom English is preparing mission documents. After being assured that English has checked the submarine hatch codes personally, Agent One 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 his (far more capable) assistant Angus Bough (Ben Miller), English takes over the case. Whilst 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 security. The power to the room is cut, and English knocks out the chief of security, before pretending to fight a criminal (later described by English as having orange frizzy hair, two teeth, two “banana shaped” scars, a broken nose and an eye patch) 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 trails the wrong one. Convinced the burial party he discovers is an act, he arrests the mourners and Priest before realising his mistake. Bough rescues him by pretending that English was an escaped asylum inmate.
The pair then uncovers the mastermind of the theft, French prison entrepreneur and descendant of William the Conqueror, Pascal Sauvage (John Malkovich). English reports his suspicions to the head of MI7, Pegasus (Tim Pigott-Smith), who does not believe him. In the carpark, one of Sauvage’s henchmen attacks English and Bough, and escapes when English mistakenly attacks Bough. English and Bough infiltrate Sauvage’s headquarters via parachute, but English lands on the wrong building, abseiling the identical 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 Archbishop of Canterbury (Oliver Ford Davies). After accidentally injecting himself with muscle relaxant, he meets Lorna again. She turns out to be an Interpol agent, also 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. The muscle relaxant not yet worn off, English accidentally insults the Foreign Secretary (Jenny Galloway). One of the henchmen reports English to Sauvage, a friend of English’s unwitting boss, the latter of whom dismisses Bough and English. Sauvage decides that English knows too much and sends henchmen to force the Queen to sign a letter of abdication, as she does so for her precious pet dog. Sauvage is informed by British officials that, as the closest surviving relative of the Queen, the position of monarch now belongs to him.
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. In an attempt to steal an incriminating DVD, English drops it onto a tray full of identical disks, and takes the wrong one. However, English accidentally triggers a microphone, alerting Sauvage, and guards seize them. Held hostage, they are freed by Bough and return to England on the day of the coronation.
At Sauvage’s coronation, English sneaks in with Lorna, the former disguised as the English bishop in front of Sauvage. He publicly accuses Sauvage of treason, and unaware that the fake Archbishop is no longer being used, English attempts to pull off his face, believing it to be a mask. 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 English, in a shower cap and underpants, dancing and miming along to “Does Your Mother Know” by ABBA. English escapes, but comes back, swinging from a wire above Sauvage and the Archbishop, grabbing the crown before it touches Sauvage’s head. Sauvage reveals his true intentions to London by pulling a gun and shooting at English, telling London that it will stand in line and do what he’s told no matter what, including letting him turn the country into a prison. In the following struggle, English is inadvertently crowned instead. He places Sauvage under arrest, reveals his 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 where Johnny accidentally presses the eject button whilst about to kiss her, and Lorna shoots into the sky. There is also a short scene in the credits showing Lorna landing in a swimming pool where Bough is sitting and as the orange haired criminal described earlier by English lowers his newspaper.