Mr. Bean's Holiday
(Prázdniny pána Beana)
Starring: Rowan Atkinson, Max Baldry, Emma de Caunes, Willem Dafoe
Directed by: Steve Bendelack
Running time: 90 minutes
Rating: 8 of 10
All ends well in what is likely Mr. Bean´s final story.
PICTURE THIS: A man who has missed his train and lost all his belongings while on vacation in southern France finally gets together enough money to buy a bus ticket, when it blows out of his hand and gets stuck to the foot of a chicken. So he chases the chicken high and low, through markets and restaurants, causing mischief along the way, until he sees it driving away, loaded onto the back of a farmer's truck. The man has no money to buy a new ticket and can't borrow some because he only speaks in unintelligible mumbles, so he saddles a nearby bicycle and takes off after the truck.
This could only happen to Mr. Bean, the bumbling, muttering king of errors played by brilliant British comedian Rowan Atkinson. More than 15 years after premiering the character on British television, and ten years after making the first Mr. Bean movie - 1997's Bean, which grossed more than $200 million worldwide - Atkinson is finally retiring the role, but not before leaving his audiences with one last hilarious tale. But who knows, maybe some day he'll be back, like Sylvester Stallone as Rocky.
One can only hope so because, as this movie proves, Atkinson and co-creator of the character, Robin Driscoll, who also co-wrote this screenplay, clearly haven't run out of good ideas. As well as the uproarious chicken chase described above, there's plenty of Mr. Bean's trademark social commentary and lots more physical comedy, including a fall-down hysterical scene in which he dons a woman's sweater as a headdress and lip-synchs an opera aria for a crowd of onlookers.
Of course, not all the scenes are that funny, but many truly are, and it's all faithful to the Mr. Bean we've known since the beginning.
The other actors in the film fulfill their roles well. Max Baldry, an 11-year-old English actor who plays Stepan, a Russian boy Mr. Bean becomes guardian of after accidentally separating him from his father, showed surprisingly mature comic timing that made him a good sidekick to the more muted Mr. Bean; Emma de Caunes is sweet as an actress Mr. Bean befriends on a film set; and veteran American actor Willem Dafoe plays the role of self-absorbed film director Carson Clay almost too well.
Still, the film's all about that endearing Mr. Bean, who makes us laugh every time we look at his goofy smile. He is among the few characters who have brought laughter into so many people's lives without ever going crass, which is a major accomplishment in contemporary comedy, or his routine ever becoming stale. Mr. Bean will surely go down in the annals of comedy history, alongside Ralph Kramden of The Honeymooners and Cliff Huxtable of The Cosby Show, as one of the most beloved characters of all time.
9. Apr 2007 at 0:00