Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Monsieur Bean
After Goodbye Pork Pie the other night, tonight my flatties and I converged upon the brand-new Hoyts cinema at Sylvia Park for another road movie – Mr Bean’s Holiday.

I was apprehensive about this. Mr Bean’s first cinematic outing 10 years ago - Bean - The Ultimate Disaster Movie - had been utterly brilliant. Mel Smith – a comedy veteran – had polished every last sequence to near-perfection. I’d started laughing at the beginning, and pretty well kept on going until the end.

This one however looked to be based upon Jacques Tati’s long-winded Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday, which I’d found pondering and… and… even the memory’s making me… me... zzzzzzzz

Anyway Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday is one of Bean-actor Rowan Atkinson’s favourite all-time movies, so I just wasn’t sure what to expect of Mr Bean’s Holiday.

What I found was a film that I at least laughed at. Mr Bean is a nice unthreatening character, and the situations he got into were so simple that they were easy to relate to – videoing a train, following directions, phoning up a stranger and so on.

Unfortunately a series of brief unconnected events just wasn’t what had made Bean's first film so enthralling for me – it had been the gigantic set-pieces that just kept on escalating.

Mr Bean’s Holiday features a brief sequence with him chasing a chicken, but for my money that’s the closest we come to the old epic magic.

That said, there are a lot of good short gags in here, particularly the subtlety of Carson Clay’s vanity project, and the surreal tone of the whole film, which – depending so much more on unlikely coincidences than logical progression – was tantalising in places. Also the woman and the kid who he shares the film with were thankfully both quite nice.

Ultimately though – like Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday - one spends most of this film waiting for it to get started.

Perhaps they should have made this one first.

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