Epic Failures (Bonus Paper)

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Epic Fail, those are the words that describe the character of Johnny English. I really enjoyed the first of the three Johnny English movies because of the comedy that it brings. What really kept me watching was the string of failures that English experiences because of his overconfidence. He is very much excited to be a secret agent finally on the field but at the same time, he is overconfident despite his lack of experience. To a certain extent, there was a James Bond vibe to it, given that there are guns, luxurious sports cars, and a woman with action. However what makes it different is that English isn’t successful in executing the suave that James Bond brings. An instance of this is how Johnny was never really able to use his gun as the parts were messily assembled or had feces inside the barrel that did not allow him to fire a bullet. 

For an action film, this is very much different from American action movies. First, Johnny English does not show a lot of fighting scenes. In fact, it only teases them. The kicks and punches were countable and it is worth noting that the main character does not even do the heavy lifting. Also, gun shots were very limited, and when you start to expect them they don’t really come through especially when it came to the main character. Furthermore for an action film, there is really no killing scene and only implies it as it only shows an explosion where multiple agents were killed. Unlike in American films, killing scenes are made explicit enough to add a dramatic effect. Some American movies that come to mind in terms of action are Mission Impossible, Taken, or Die Hard. These movies show how the main characters prevail adversity with their skills as they convince the audience to see them as a legitimate hero that will become victorious. 

Johnny English shows the very opposite as he does not bring the typical hero effect. In fact, he is the last guy you would ever think of when it comes to saving the country or the world. To a certain extent, it makes the audience wonder how a guy like him would prevail in the end, especially with the presence of his overconfidence that is a main flaw that is rooted in his string of failures. Because of this, one would even think that the antagonist is even more skilled. However, English would be lucky and something out of his control allows him to be the hero, which will be discussed later on. This is different from American movies because the protagonists become victorious because of their abilities and smarts. 

I really enjoyed the laughter that Johnny English brings, especially when his overconfidence and unintentional acts affect the people around him. From the part where he clicks the pen and accidentally shoots the secretary unconscious to breaking in a hospital and threatening the doctors, patients, and nurses thinking they were all working for Savage or the part where he interferes a funeral, thinking it was all a setup as he walks on top of a casket.The funniest among them all is when he reveals the Archbishop’s buttocks to the entire nation, thinking that this one was an imposter. It seemed like Johnny English would never learn that he should tone down his confidence. 

Even though Johnny English faces a string of failures, the movie does not end with his demise. He actually becomes successful as it seemed like Lady Luck was on his side. For me, English is a guy who’s way of thinking is detached from reality. One instance of this was when he and Lorna, another agent, was imprisoned. English thought that a way to escape was blowing through the locked door knob, which was ridiculous and unrealistic. Because of this, some force out of his control has to save him. In this case, it was his loyal partner Bough who frees Johnny and Lorna. In the concluding scene of the movie, Johnny also gets saved as he daringly used the rope to swing in order to grab the crown of Savage, which ticks of the latter and reveals his evilness to the public. Johnny gets tangled and unintentionally drops to Savage and was crowned King, which was a shock to the crowd. Because of this, English had Savage arrested and the movie ended on a bright note. 

Overall, it is a movie that I really loved. Not only because it was Rowan Atkinson, but the character that he plays and the plot of the movie where it really showed the true character of Johnny English. It is like you can anticipate the failures he is about to face and then just appreciate the effects of his epic failures. 

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