Mr Beans Holiday - Will Make You Laugh, But Hey, Don't Feel Guilty About It!
Mr Beans Holiday is definitely NOT one of those satirical comedies that uses humor to make a serious point. Some movies may expand upon a central theme, deriving the laughs from the situations or characters, whilst others are just plain silly.
Mr Beans Holiday falls, without doubt, into the latter category, but is still very watchable!
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Now if an American actor tries to make this type of movie, the results are usually horrible - Just watch any Paulie Shore flick and you'll see exactly what I mean - But because it's a British actor engaging in this foolish flick, it is funny.
It would appear that across the pond they have established a dominance in the field of slap-stick humor. Monty Python may have never made sense, but we still laughed at the antics.
Another British import that we can rely on to give us a good time is the Mr Bean series. Rowan Atkinson has taken this character to international fame. True, Bean is, to put it bluntly, an absolute idiot, but watching him get into the most improbable situations is a guilty pleasure for millions of us around the world.
I grew up with the Three Stooges and the likes of Abbot and Costello, so I am aware of the tradition of physical humor. It's a tradition that Bean continues with flair. The latest in the series is Mr Beans Holiday and while admittedly not the best of the Bean flicks it is a real family friendly frolick.
For this film, you will need the ability to completely suspend belief, but fortunately it makes the job very easy for you. Don t worry about little things like a plot or reality; just sit back and enjoy the ride.
The silliness starts right away as Mr. Bean parks his car and uses a dead bolt and padlock to secure it. He is off to a church fund raiser where prizes are to be auctioned. The winning number is 919; Bean looks at his ticket, 616 and tosses it away only to realize he had it upside down.
He gets the winning ticket back and claims first prize - a vacation on the French Rivera, a new camcorder and some pocket money. Bean sets off on his adventure documenting every possible moment with his new toy.
Even simple, every day functions like buying a cup of coffee, become outrageously difficult. Bean spills his coffee on a sleeping mans laptop and, with his tongue sticking out like a naughty boy, he tries to pour the coffee out of the computer and back in his cup making sure he's scrape the foam off the keyboard.
When our hero has to change trains in Paris, a vending machine manages to get the best of our lamentable hero and he misses his connection. With an hour to kill he stops off at a restaurant where he mistakenly orders the largest plate of seafood imaginable.
Before finally getting on to his train, he asks a man, Emil Dachevsky (Karel Roden), a Russian judge at the Cannes Film Festival, to shoot him boarding. Bean, thinking he is a major director, demands numerous re-takes to the point the train is soon pulling out of the station. The doors close on Dachevsky, preventing him from boarding, leaving his young son Stepan (Max Baldry) on the train and in the dubious care of Mr Bean.
The boy is told to get off at the next stop to wait for his father. Bean, feeling responsible also gets off and winds up missing the train again. The father's train does not make this stop so Bean and the boy have to catch another train. Unfortunately Bean has misplaced his wallet and passport resulting in them getting kicked off the next train.
I think you get the picture!
In order to get the most from Mr Beans Holiday, you really have to be a fan of physical comedy. There are no real jokes to be found anywhere here, it's just one bizarre moment after another. In many ways this is like an extended sketch comedy show that is only loosely bound together by Mr Bean's journey.
Director Steve Bendelack comes from a television background but deports himself well here. For a physical comedy it is difficult to keep the pace moving along but he does it well. At times the flick is repetitious, but given the genre, that is acceptable. After all we still laugh when Moe hits Larry and Curly time after time.
This is mostly targeted at the true blue fans of the Bean character. Others may find it pedantic and over done. Physical comedy is an art and Atkinson has honed his skill, although he has a tendency to over-use the same sight gags.
Rowan Atkinson he is a very talented comedian. While he doesn't get to speak a lot in the Bean series, he has demonstrated previously that he possesses a quick and agile wit in series' like Blackadder.
In this film he uses the Bean character well, but not as effectively as in previous outings. He does have the perfect face for this brand of comedy and with is rubbery face and extra large ears he can use his facial expressions and body language alone to get a laugh.
The one problem I have with this movie, is the character is best suited for a television episode, rather than a feature length film - What is hysterical for thirty minutes, can become tiresome when it pushes ninety.
Universal does provide its typical excellent DVD release here. The anamorphic 1.85:1 video is well balanced with a true to life color palette. The Dolby 5.1 audio is over kill, the rear speakers and sub woofer don t have a lot to do other than provide some ambience.
There is also a good measure of extras provided in this release. There are some fifteen deleted scenes that were better left on the cutting room floor. French Beans has the Atkinson, the director and other crew members recant their filming experience in France. Since Bean did not know French it made a perfect chance to make the character almost silent, a characteristic of Bean.
Mr Beans holiday in Cannes details what it took to film the movie while the actual film festival was in full swing. Finally Human Bean gets the reaction of the other actors on their work with the famous character.
This is not the best slap-stick comedy around but it is something well worth while for the whole family to enjoy.