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Mr. Bean's Holiday

(originally posted by Jamie Kelwick at his own site -- www.the-usher.com.)

Rowan Atkinson returns to one of the two characters that made him a star of comedy, but unfortunately it isn't Edmund Blackadder.

Ten years after Atkinson's bumbling but lovable creation hit the silver screen in Bean for the ultimate disaster movie, Mr. Bean returns and this time he is going on holiday. Winning the local church raffle, he receives an all-expenses paid trip to Cannes in the South of France but of course, everything doesn't go to plan.

When Atkinson and Richard Curtis created the character back in 1990 little did they know that this virtually silent, awkward klutz would become a firm family favourite with a live action and animated series. Now he has his second feature film but is this a character that really needs to return to the silver screen?

Waiting ten years since his last appearance is an extremely long time for fans of the hapless character. Based on the style of the silent comic masters such as Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd, Mr. Bean is all about physical and expressional comedy at which Atkinson is extremely gifted. The problem is that the Mr. Bean character is one that you will either love or hate.

Watching him travel across France on this way to his dream holiday in Cannes should have been a journey made for some hilarious moments. Unfortunately, Mr. Bean's Holiday only barely manages to raise a smile. Missing trains, losing things, walking onto film sets and becoming wanted by the police are just some of the hijinx that the hapless one gets into, but these set pieces are very simplistic and not that funny.

There is no denying that Atkinson is an extremely talented comedic actor and Mr. Bean is a creation that shows his skills in physical comedy, but this is definitely not his best character. You have to wonder why this character gets a second movie when a Blackadder movie is crying out to be made.

The rest of the cast are fine, with the beautiful Emma de Caunes and Max Baldry as the lost Stephan doing a decent job but you have to question why Willem Defoe is in the movie as self obsessed director Carson Clay.

Mr. Bean's Holiday is a movie that only fans will enjoy. With very few laugh out loud moments and the strange inclusion of quite a lot of subtitles (for a movie aimed at younger viewers), this is a disappointing comedy that really didn't need to be made. Let's hope Mr. Bean stays in France for a very long time.

Jamie Kelwick

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