Anthony's Film Review
Mr. Bean's Holiday (2007)
The laughs in Mr. Bean's second cinematic adventure are predictable but still enjoyable...
You could say that Mr. Bean's Holiday, the second Bean movie, is a response to criticisms of 1997's Bean. Although I still enjoyed the predecessor from a decade back, I can understand people who said that it portrayed Bean as more of a secondary character and threw in humor that was more offensive than the subtle humor from the original TV show. If you're one of those people, then rest assured that Mr. Bean's Holiday doesn't take the same road. Here, Mr. Bean is indeed the focus, and the humor is rather family-friendly. In fact, I was surprised that this movie received a G rating in the U.S. (meaning "General Audiences - All Ages Admitted").
The first scene immediately launches the story. At a raffle, Mr. Bean is the winner and gets a free expense-paid trip to France. He is given a video camera to record his vacation and a train ticket to ride all the way to Cannes. That should be easy. Well, that's assuming you possess at least an average level of intelligence. If, however, you're the idiotic and clumsy Mr. Bean, then you'll be lucky if you don't mess up step one.
Here, Mr. Bean has perhaps the worst luck of all. Because of him, things go wrong for other people. And because of those other people, things go wrong for him in return. Bean's adventure include a boy separated from his father, a beautiful actress, a runaway chicken, and lip-synching to earn extra money. As for the laughs, none of them really qualified as hysterical or unexpectedly hilarious. At most, they were pretty funny despite knowing what would happen. Still, there were plenty of these gags to avoid long stretches devoid of chuckles.
There is another thing I like about the jokes. If you're a Mr. Bean fan, then you're familiar with all of the sketches from the episodes of the TV show. The last thing you want in a Bean movie is the reusing of familiar jokes. Thankfully, only one scene in Mr. Bean's Holiday is a clear rehash of an old sketch. It's the one where Bean is eating disgusting seafood but doesn't honestly tell the waiter that and resorts to hiding the food. The TV show has a similar premise with steak tartar. Otherwise, the jokes in Mr. Bean's Holiday are new.
I thought I wouldn't like the movie because I feared a lack of originality. In the end, I liked it more than I expected. Though not as funny as the cleverly written TV show, Mr. Bean's Holiday at least harkens back to it. Rowan Atkinson plays Bean very much as he did before. The only thing I wanted to see but didn't were other references to the show, such as Bean's little teddy bear and a running gag involving a blue three-wheeled car. At least the movie briefly shows Bean's little yellow car with the external padlock.
Lastly, if Rowan Atkinson's words are true, then Mr. Bean's Holiday marks the final appearance of Mr. Bean. Given how many years the character has been with us, it makes sense for him to retire. And with this delightful movie, it's a nice way to end it.
For more information about Mr. Bean's Holiday, visit the Internet Movie Database.
In addition, check out my reviews of Bean and the original TV show Mr. Bean.