Johnny English Strikes Again (Second Trailer)

The final trailer for Johnny English Strikes Again was recently released, and it picks up mostly where the previous trailer left off. The series, which parodies the James Bond series and likely takes in part from Mike Myers’ turn-of-the-century Austin Powers trilogy, is the third in a series that began in 2003 and had a sequel in 2011’s Johnny English Reborn. 

Rowan Atkinson, a.k.a. “Mr. Bean,” is the titular English, an MI7 agent with a tendency for stumbling about and ridiculousness. With some awareness that the film is coming out at this point, as opposed to the first trailer, there is not as much of a fake-out here in terms of atmospheric posturing as a typical Bond or Bond-alike film. That being said, it does open to chromatically rising, shimmering guitar, high strings, and some epic percussion. However, it takes only eleven seconds for the music to cut out, interrupted by a server appearing to trip on an olive English (Atkinson) cooly throws away behind him, his state intent on an attractive woman he’s just met. This aural discontinuity from the Bondesque music to the shriek encapsulates the core of the film’s conceit for humorous purposes: it’s the contrast, the utter failure of living up to the expectations of a top agent of espionage, that makes Johnny English worth a third go-around.

The stomping groove that marked most of the first trailer returns at 0:13, and “virtual reality” – as English humorously articulates each syllable with an air of incredulity – comes to the fore as a core, timely gimmick for this go-around; trumpets blare, imitating the bombastic slapstick humour that follows as we see English cavorting around in his VR gear slapping around his enemies with breadsticks. 

Around 0:40 various sound effects take centre stage as we see a quick cut through a few of English’s antics. At 0:56 we get the main title card; it’s over in one minute flat. Like many second or third trailers that begin to close in on the release window, this trailer does not actually deviate much from its debut trailer, instead relying on the bits that are most core to communicating the film’s central conceit. 

– Curtis Perry