*/**** Image B+ Sound B Extras C+
starring Rowan Atkinson, Natalie Imbruglia, Ben Miller, John Malkovich
screenplay by Neal Purvis & Robert Wade and William Davies
directed by Peter Howitt
by Bill Chambers The only thing mustier than James Bond movies are parodies of them, and as if we needed proof, along comes the excruciatingly predictable 007 send-up Johnny English, in which Rowan Atkinson soars to the lows of Leslie Nielsen at his most contemptibly greedy (see: Spy Hard). (I like both comedians, Atkinson and Nielsen, but only when they're leashed to masters Richard Curtis and David Zucker, respectively.) If it's true that Atkinson was recently motivated by the stateside failure of this very film to check himself into an Arizona rehab centre for depressed celebrities (and frankly, don't blame audiences--distributor Universal didn't exactly tax themselves advertising Johnny English to domestic moviegoers), I hope his caretakers remind him in haste that none of Monty Python's features grossed an enviable sum abroad, that the James Bond franchise has already satirized itself into the ground (it's no casual point that Johnny English was co-scripted by the same writing team behind The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day), and that his first problem is trying to please a country that opens rehab centres for depressed celebrities.