Mr. Bean's Holiday Reviews
Don't mistake this simpleton hero, or the movie's own simplicity, for a lack of smarts. Mr. Bean's Holiday is quite savvy about filmmaking, landing a few blows for satire.
For younger audiences, Mr. Bean's Holiday will be a pleasure, and of course, Bean addicts will, as always, be happy to see Atkinson's alter ego return to the big screen.
Too often in Mr. Bean's Holiday, you get the feeling Rowan Atkinson and his collaborators confused the notion of 'building a gag slowly' with 'forgetting to build one at all'.
Director Bendelack and writer-producer McBurney aim for the comedy of Chaplin, Keaton, and Tati, relying heavily on sight gags and their star's pratfalls and facial contortions, but they vititate the comic payoffs by allowing scenes to run too long.
The film's Harold Lloyd-inspired slapstick may be infantile, but it has an innocent sensibility that is a nice counterbalance to the equally childish but prurient American Pie flicks.
Mr. Bean's Holiday doesn't try for too much, but in the crass and noisy theme park that is children's entertainment, it's as refreshing as icewater on a summer day.
Among the pluses: Atkinson is a gifted physical comedian. And the film is a rarity: a kid-friendly movie that was clearly not produced as a vehicle for selling toys and video games.
Mr. Bean's Holiday picks up steam when it finally arrives in Cannes just in time to wreak yet more havoc at the big film festival, but getting there is pretty tedious. A little of the wildly mugging Atkinson goes a long way.
If Brit comic Rowan Atkinson really is retiring his greatest creation, he's certainly kissing him off in style with this glossy, often charming road picture that has none of the coarse or crass tone of the Hollywood hit Bean of 10 years ago.
Bean seems to lament how some filmmakers have forgotten that film is foremost a medium of mass entertainment. The great sadness is that without uttering much of anything, is a few jokes short of making a very good point.
The humour in Mr. Bean's Holiday, more chucklesome than uproarious, doesn't feel particularly contemporary. It has the kind of simplicity that's most likely to appeal to either the old or young.