Johnny English Strikes Again appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. As expected, the film came with a pretty good transfer.
Sharpness worked fine, with only a smidgen of softness on display during the occasional wide shot. This meant the end result appeared largely accurate and distinctive.
I witnessed no signs of jaggies or shimmering, and edge haloes also failed to appear. Print flaws never impacted the presentation.
Unsurprisingly, the movie went with a palette that emphasized orange and teal, but these hues never took on overwhelming tendencies. The image threw out a smattering of other hues as well and the tones looked well-rendered within the stylistic choices.
Blacks were dark and tight, while shadows seemed acceptable, though they could appear a bit dense during nighttime shots. While I didn’t think this was a great image, it looked fine overall.
Downconverted to DTS-HD MA 7.1, the film’s DTS X track didn’t take great advantage of the sonic possibilities. Despite the film’s action side, it tended toward more of a “comedy mix”, one that lacked a great deal of flair.
This didn’t make the soundtrack poor, of course. It just didn’t show the involvement and pizzazz one might expect from the format.
Much of the mix focused on music and atmosphere, with only the occasional scene with more dynamic use of the various channels. A few action scenes brought out nice movement and activity, but these popped up sporadically.
Audio quality worked fine, with speech that appeared natural and distinctive. Music seemed full and rich as well.
Though not as prominent a feature as I might like, effects still appeared accurate and impactful, with pretty good low-end along for the ride. This turned into a “B” soundtrack.
When we move to extras, we go with an audio commentary from director David Kerr. He presents a running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cast and performances, music, editing and cut scenes, sets and locations, cars and props, effects, stunts, and connected domains.
Overall, Kerr provides a reasonably informative chat. He does tend to narrate the movie more often than I’d like, but he still delivers a nice array of notes and makes this a brisk, engaging piece most of the time.
Seven featurettes follow, and The Comedy Genius of Rowan Atkinson fills four minutes, 58 seconds with notes from Kerr and actors Ben Miller, Emma Thompson, Rowan Atkinson and Olga Kurylenko
As expected, “Genius” looks at Atkinson’s talent and performance style. Also as expected, the show tends toward praise more than insight.
We spotlight actors with A Cast of Characters. It runs seven minutes, 12 seconds and features Kerr, Atkinson, Thompson, Miller, Kurylenko, producer Tim Bevan, screenwriter William Davies and actor Jake Lacy.
Like the title implies, this program discusses cast, characters and performances. It follows the same path of “Genius” to focus on happy talk more than substance.
We take a look back at the franchise via The Johnny English Legacy. It goes for five minutes, six seconds and includes Miller, Bevan, Atkinson, Kerr, Davies and producer Chris Clark.
“Legacy” looks at the entire franchise and offers thoughts about its style and challenges. It becomes another fairly fluffy show.
Next comes Virtual Reality Johnny English Style, a four-minute, 14-second reel with Kerr, Miller, Atkinson and stunt coordinator Paul Herbert.
As one assumes from the title, this reel investigates the movie’s “virtual reality” sequence. It offers a decent look at the creative choices and the technical challenges.
In The Gadgets, we locate a six-minute, eight-second show with Kerr, Thompson, Atkinson, Miller, Clark, Kurylenko, Davies, Herbert and production designer Simon Bowles. This piece brings some thoughts about props, but not much of real interest emerges.
The Cars lasts five minutes, seven seconds and provides material from Atkinson, Kerr, Miller, Herbert and Kurylenko. We get some notes about vehicles and driving. It’s another mediocre featurette.
Finally, Locations and Design takes up four minutes, three seconds with statements from Kerr, Bowles, and Miller. This show offers a fairly decent take on the topics listed in the title.
The disc opens with ads for Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again and House With the Clock in Its Walls. No trailer for Strikes Again appears here.
A second disc provides a DVD copy. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.
If one expects a clever, witty spoof of the secret agent genre, one won’t find it with Johnny English Strikes Again. Sluggish, stupid and laugh-free, the movie becomes a tiresome experience. The Blu-ray comes with fairly positive picture and audio as well as largely superficial supplements. Strikes Again fails to live up to even the most modest of expectations.