Starring: Rowan Atkinson, Willem Dafoe, Emma de Caunes
Director: Steve Bendelack
Running Time: 90 mins
Mr. Bean’s Holiday is a British film and the sequel to Bean. In this continental adventure, Mr. Bean wins the trip of a lifetime to the south of France, but after various mishaps, he must forge his way to his final destination while taking in the bizarre culture around him.
I love the TV show Mr. Bean, but I’ve just never been convinced by it on the big screen. He’s meant to be a weird little man making big mistakes, but when he goes on these big adventures and makes big mistakes, it’s just never as funny, which is exactly what happens here. It’s still a great performance from Rowan Atkinson, and while the film is still entertaining to watch, it just wasn’t funny enough.
So, the main problem with this film is that it isn’t really that funny. In the first film, it succeeded on occasion because Mr. Bean was just being preposterously clumsy, but here, he’s not clumsy or cringeworthy enough, in fact everything he does is a little bit more human than you’d expect, and that’s why it just doesn’t have the comedic charm of the original series.
But it’s not only that, the jokes themselves are just too light as well. We’re used to seeing just slapstick from Mr. Bean, and while I don’t mind a bit of branching out into some other comedy, it just didn’t work here, with the supporting characters not really adding much to the funny qualities of the film.
In terms of the story, it’s fine, it’s fun, but it doesn’t do anything spectacular. Of course, that’s expecting too much of a film like this, but to be honest, it’s a painfully similar rip-off of Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday (which I’ve never found that funny), and Mr. Bean’s quest here for the beach and to resolve all of the other mishaps going on around him just isn’t that interesting.
On the bright side, however, there’s still no faulting Rowan Atkinson in this classic role. Don’t think for a second that it’s Mr. Bean that’s not funny anymore, it’s actually the writing, and on the odd occasion when you do see Atkinson just going crazy like in the TV show, things do look up a bit.
Also, one of the inadvertently best things about this film is its setting and background music. It’s actually quite a joy to watch this film, not because of the comedy or the story as you’d expect, but because it has such a lovely atmosphere. The beautiful settings across France are delightful to behold, whilst the music throughout really adds to this relaxed, holiday-ish atmosphere, and ends up being the most entertaining thing about the whole film.
Overall, this gets a 6.3 from me, because despite having a classic central performance and a lovely vibe, the comedy and the story just don’t work as well as they need to here.