Mr. Bean's Holiday
R2 - United Kingdom - Fabulous Films
Review written by and copyright: Matthew Crossman (26th February 2016).
The Film

Mr Bean is attending a church raffle in aide of a new roof for the church as the one they currently have is leaking very badly. The grand prize in the raffle is a trip for one on the Euro star to Paris and then a another train ride to the South of France to the resort of Cannes. Also included in the prize is two hundred Euros in spending money and a camcorder. The raffle is drawn and initially Bean is disappointed as the number drawn is 919 and he has ticket number 616. Bean realises his mistake and the prize is his. Soon he is off to France utilising his new camcorder at every opportunity. Whilst waiting for his train to leave for Cannes Bean patronises a restaurant. Unfortunately the only French Bean knows is oui and non. This means that he does not understand the menu and accidentally orders fruits de mer which is a large plate of oysters and langoustine. Encouraged to eat by the maitre de Bean finds the oysters vile and deposits them in a woman’s handbag before eating a langoustine, shell and all. As the woman who’s bag Bean left the oysters in receives a phone call Bean beats a hasty retreat. About to board the train to Cannes Bean approaches a fellow traveller and indicates that he would like him to video Bean as he boards the train. The fellow passenger does this but at a cost as the man misses the train. As the train leaves the station Bean realises that the man’s Son is on board and is now all alone. Bean feels responsible for the boy and tries to help him be reunited with his Father. What then happens is that the boy and Bean have mishap after mishap as they try to make their way to Cannes where the boy can be reunited with his family and Bean can finally enjoy his holiday.

Mr Bean was originally conceived by Rowan Atkinson whilst he was studying at Oxford University. Atkinson described Bean as ‘a child in a man’s body’. The television series of Mr. Bean finally hit our television screens in the United Kingdom in 1990 where 13 episodes, all co-written by Atkinson, were aired. The series was an immediate hit. Since the television series Mr. Bean has featured in several spin offs including an animated series that ran for 63 episodes and two movies. The first movie, entitled ‘Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie, was directed by long time collaborator Mel Smith and, like the TV series it was a huge hit. The film was released in 2005 and was budgeted to $22 million and globally took $250 million at the box office. With such success a sequel was all but inevitable. In 2007 ‘Mr. Bean’s Holiday’ was released and took almost exactly the same at the box office with a slightly larger budget. Monetary success notwithstanding Mr Bean has always been a required taste. The earliest episodes of the television series were often clever as well as comical but as the character has progressed with comedy element seems to have regressed. As Mr Bean rarely speaks anything funny has to be conveyed through the body language of Bean and the situations he finds himself in. By the time the viewer gets to ‘Mr. Bean’s Holiday’ these sequences have become so pronounced or are simply repeating themselves. What started out as a comedy for adults soon found itself as an entertainment for children and the character of Bean became debased as a result. I can’t say I was ever a fan of Bean. I’ve always preferred Rowan Atkinson at his sarcastic best as Blackadder or his dry performances on ‘Not The Nine O’ Clock News’. The character of Bean really does divide people. He really is a love him or loathe him character. Personally I’m in the latter camp. However, for people who love Mr. Bean will find much to amuse them whilst watching ‘Mr. Bean’s Holiday’. It’s a formula that has worked for many years and the writers and Director who been wise in not changing the format too much. Mr. Bean was always out of his depth in any scenario but place him in these predicaments in a different country and Bean’s problems are just exasperated. Kudos to the makers of the film for at least trying something different.

Video

The film is presented in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio (anamorphic). The picture quality is acceptable if unremarkable. The director has gone to some pains to showcase the beautiful scenery of Provence and Cannes but the colours of the DVD are just the wrong side of dull. Nothing particularly pops off the screen even when given a bump and played through a Blu-ray player.

Audio

The film can be listened to via three Dolby Digital options. These are English (5.1), French (5.1) and Russian (5.1). Similar to the picture, the audio soundtrack is unremarkable too. Obviously, being a Mr. Bean film, there is little in the way of spoken language and this gap is filled in with a pop music soundtrack. This musical soundtrack has a nice bass kick from the sub woofer and the rear speakers are reserved for ambient sounds but overall the audio soundtrack is perfectly adequate. Subtitles are available and comes in these flavours; English (HoH), French, Dutch, Arabic, Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish and Ukrainian.

Extras

First up is a documentary that has been split into three sections. These are;
‘French Beans’ (11.24)
‘Beans In Cannes’ (5.49)
‘The Human Bean’ (6.13)
The first two sections are filled with anecdotes in regards to the filming of ‘Mr Bean’s Holiday’ and on set interviews. The final section is a piece of everyone saying how great Rowan Atkinson is.

Deleted Scenes - There are seventeen deleted scenes and these are;
Bean Asks About The Train (0.21)
Stepan Spots Bean (0.28)
Bean Gets Tie Stuck In Vending Machine (1.22)
Bean Tricks Business Man Into Swapping Tickets (1.56)
Bean Carries Stepan Across The Market (0.36)
Bean Films Himself Doing Silly Moves In The Road (2.39)
Bean Hitching And Making Shadows (1.15)
Sabine Struggles With Her Emotions (3.47)
Sabine Almost Run Over By A Truck (1.20)
Bean Mimes His Journey to Stepan (1.57)
Bean Playing With Ring tones (0.41)
Bean Pilfers Gas From Unsuspecting Motorist (1.22)
Bean Closes The Door ‘Put Your Hands In The Air’ (0.48)
Bean Falls Asleep (1.49)
Film Projector Chaos (1.11)
Carson Clay Picks Up Projector (0.31)
Buskers Sing ‘La Mer’, Bean Dances (1.57)
Some of the deleted scenes are brand new scenes and others are just extensions of scenes already in the movie. The running time of ‘Mr. Bean’s Holiday’ already runs for nearly 86 minutes and judging by the material cut from the film, which is, for the most part, as good as what was left in, I suggest these scenes were cut to ensure the running time was not overly long. With over 20 minutes of extra footage available anyone who enjoyed the feature presentation will get a kick from these deleted scenes and it’s good that they have been included.

This DVD also has two start up trailers.
‘Billy Elliot: The Musical’ (01.09). This is a trailer for the musical which, according to the trailer, opens in Sydney in 2007.
‘Evan Almighty’ (02.30) A trailer for the sequel to ‘Bruce Almighty’.

Overall

If you love Mr. Bean then you’ll love this just as much. However, if Mr. Bean is not your particular cup of tea then ‘Mr. Bean’s Holiday’ is not going to change your mind. The performances from everyone involved in the film as very good and you can see the love everyone who had a hand in the movie feels for Mr. Bean but Rowan Atkinson’s most famous creation is definitely a ‘marmite’ character and one that personally I do not find funny.

The Film: C+ Video: B- Audio: B- Extras: C+ Overall: C+

 


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