11 April 2007

Movie Review: Mr Bean's Holiday

I caught this movie last Wednesday, firstly, in hope that it can give me a good stress relief in this insanely stressed period and, secondly, because I think I deserve a little treat after a mad rush of deadlines and tests. The first Mr Bean movie totally blew me off: for a comedy it was first class. Three scenes in particular - the toilet incident, the simulator "enhancement" and Mr Bean's modification to the painting - stood out as those laugh-until-lao-sai kind of gags.

Unfortunately, this second movie is woefully lacking in those. If there's a funniest scene, it was when Mr Bean is trying to beg for money in the train station. But that hardly qualifies as hilarious when contrasted with the three mentioned scenes from the first movie. Looking back, this movie is perhaps geared for nostalgic purposes than for laughing: I remember more Beanish grunts and sniggering than quality Bean jokes.

The story is a simple plot but swung into a ridiculous curve. That is forgivable if it's funny; unfortunately it's only mildly so. Personally, I have the impression that this movie is based more on the cartoon series than the first movie or the TV series. And I have to say I find the cartoons a far cry from the TV series. This poor plot is probably because it was not written by Rowan Atkinson and Richard Curtis, the writers of the series and the first movie.

Considering that, according to Rowan Atkinson, this is the last time he will be playing Mr Bean, it is quite a sad way to end the series. For a comedy this is not worth watching, but for that purpose of the series' end, it is. Rowan Atkinson is so much more talented than Mr Bean and it has given him international recognition for his comedic abilities; it's time to move on.

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