March 30, 2007
Mr Bean's Holiday."It has long been a mystery to the British, who consider Bean to be, at best, an ignoble secret weakness, that Rowan Atkinson's repellent creation is absolutely massive on the Continent." London Times critic Wendy Ide is rattled to hear that Cannes Film Festival director Gilles Jacob is a fan. Mr Bean's Holiday nods not only in Tati's direction but also "appears to be littered with art-house movie references.... What really riles here is not so much the plagiarism (although shame on you all) but rather the fact that the stolen sight gags - Bean overtaking Tour de France cyclists; Bean in drag to evade a road block - are simply not as funny with Atkinson at the controls." Updated through 3/31. "They're saying this is Mr Bean's last appearance, but if Rowan Atkinson hasn't got the heart to kill off the character, I'll gladly throttle him by his necktie myself," writes Steve Rose in the Guardian. "[R]egardless of its quality, it will do huge business, given the apparently insatiable desire of half the children on the planet for the works of Rowan Atkinson's gurning, dysfunctional comic creation," sighs the Telegraph's David Gritten, and sure enough, Evening Standard critic Derek Malcolm slaps it with two out of five stars while the readers are giving it four. "Intriguingly," adds Gritten, "the story is credited to Simon McBurney, mainstay of the group Complicite and a paragon of physical theatre. But a series of over-elaborate sight gags and laboriously conceived comic routines are not quite the same as a coherent script, and consequently the film seems thin gruel." Update, 3/31: "I sodding hate Mr Bean," grumbles Anna Picard at the Guardian. "He is - and I don't think I'm overstating my case here - the embodiment of pure evil."
Posted by dwhudson at March 30, 2007 10:02 AM