Rowan Atkinson had disappeared off our screens for a little while. After the critical mauling of Johnny English he sort of vanished into thin air for a while. Personally I can never understand why the critics savaged Johnny English as much as they did, sure it was flawed but it was pretty funny. Now, however Rowan Atkinson has returned, and he's brought along his most well loved character to date. Mr Bean is back, ladies and gentlemen! Now for some people this will cause great excitement, for others it will cause them to groan very loudly. You see Mr Bean is an acquired taste, and after seeing this movie I can still very much say that Mr Bean is an acquired taste. If you dislike Mr Bean in the first place the odds are extremely high that you will hate his latest outing. I on the other hand really like Mr Bean, not love, but I enjoy his sketches and the last movie was pretty funny. This movie in my eyes is a bit better despite still being overly sentimental and some comedy moments feeling a bit too forced. But this is a movie of small pleasures, this doesn't deliver witty comedy, in fact a lot of humour relies on either slapstick or embarrassing situations, yet the comedy still feels fresh and you can't help but enjoy it all along.
The first thing I'll mention is the actual storyline and the actual comedy of the movie. The storyline here works a lot better than it did in the first Bean movie. It seems more natural and like a proper Bean movie, not committee driven like the first movie seemed. The story involves Bean winning a raffle and going off on a holiday to France. It's a simple story and won't be winning any awards, but its what happens along the way that makes the movie so much fun. The comedy here ranges from pretty small laughs, such as the tie getting caught in the baguette machine, to absolutely hysterical sequences which involves Mr Bean trying to earn some money. And the comedy works like that throughout, its always making you smile, whether it be small little sequences that make you smile to yourself, or whether you're practically rolling in the aisles, this is a feel good movie and proud of it.
Nevertheless, the fact it is a feel good movie is also the movies largest downfall. The original Bean movie had huge problems because it was overly sentimental, unfortunately it seems like they haven't learnt their lessons with this movie. Sure it starts out hilarious, but the sentimentality begins to kick in around the halfway mark, and sometimes it is unbearably sickly that you can't help but want to heave. Of course this is a kids movie so I can't be overly critical with the sentimentality. But I would have preferred it to have had a little less of it. We want to see Bean in funny situations, not in a situation that tries to be heartwarming yet feels oddly misplaced. My other moan goes with the ending, it seems rather abrupt and also a tad sickly. The sickliness of it goes with my last complaint. But the ending after a bit of a lead up just suddenly jumps on you and its over. I was the only out of the group I saw it with who felt this, so perhaps that is just my feelings, but in my eyes I wanted a more spread out ending.
The performances of the movie are up to a pretty high standard. Atkinson doing his traditional Mr Bean routine, it doesn't feel old in the movie and it still proves that the character is pretty funny. Willem Dafoe pops along for a great role, and the actual child actor of the movie was surprisingly not irritating like a lot of child actors out there. Overall Mr Bean's Holiday is a great family movie that will keep the kids in hysterics and the adults very happy as well. Its not going to amaze people, but in terms of fun this movie should be a family favourite.