9:10am Monday 13th February 2012
By Damon Smith
Johnny English Reborn (Cert PG, 101 mins, Universal Pictures (UK) Ltd). Starring Rowan Atkinson, Gillian Anderson, Dominic West, Rosamund Pike, Daniel Kaluuya, Richard Schiff, Stephen Campbell Moore, Pik Sen Lim, Tim McInnerny ***
Following a disastrous mission in Mozambique, Johnny English (Atkinson) turns his back on MI7. Section chief Pamela Thornton (Anderson) woos him back to help thwart an assassination attempt on the Chinese premier. She pairs him with rookie agent Tucker (Kaluuya), who lives in South London with his mother and finesses his gun skills by playing on his Xbox. Following a meeting with agent Titus Fisher (Schiff), Johnny learns the dastardly plot has been masterminded by a shadowy organisation called Vortex. Convinced there is a mole at the heart of British Intelligence, Johnny and Tucker join forces with fellow operative Simon Ambrose (West) and sexy behavioural psychologist Kate Sumner (Pike) to unmask the traitor in their midst. The film is a gently-effervescent spy caper that amuses but rarely delights. Johnny English Repackaged might be a more fitting title.
Abduction (Cert 12, 101 mins, Lionsgate Home Entertainment UK Ltd). Starring Taylor Lautner, Lily Collins, Denzel Whitaker, Sigourney Weaver, Alfred Molina, Michael Nyqvist **
High school student Nathan Harper (Lautner) thinks he has the perfect life with caring parents. While researching a school project on missing children, Nathan discovers that he bears an uncanny resemblance to the age-modified image of a boy who went missing many years ago. Before Nathan has a chance to learn the truth from his parents, assassins kill Kevin and Mara and the teenager goes on the run with next-door neighbour Karen (Collins), aided by his shrink Dr Bennett (Weaver) and best friend Gilly (Whitaker), who makes “the best fake IDs in Pennsylvania”. Then shadowy CIA agent Burton (Molina) makes contact with Nathan and warns the teenager that he is a pawn in a diabolical plot. Abduction is utter nonsense from hormone-fuelled beginning to overblown end. Lautner is naturally likeable and easy on the eye but there is nothing in the script to test his acting mettle.
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