Mr Bean was one of those TV shows, like Big Brother, which has millions of adoring viewers, yet has an equal number of people who hated it with a vengeance. If you fall into the latter category, this version of Rowan Atkinson’s bumbling comic creation is akin to the most drawn-out, eye-piercing torture you can think of. However, if you’re a Bean fan, this will probably hit the right notes, as it’s also a slick, well-performed comic confection that stays true to the format of the series, and keeps the laughs sweet enough to amuse the smallest of viewers, who are probably more familiar with the spin-off cartoon series.
Hapless Bean is transported to Los Angeles, where he’s sent to attend the unveiling of a priceless painting at a Californian gallery. Of course, Bean botches it big time, leaving a trail of destruction in his wake as he single-handedly jeopardises both his host’s marriage and Anglo-American relations. Atkinson accomplishes every pratfall and inept moment to perfection, and writers Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a Funeral) and Robin Driscoll (The Fast Show) keep the daft situations coming. But unless gags so old Benny Hill would have rejected them are your thing, you’re better off leaving this one for the little kids and going in another room to watch re-runs of Curtis and Atkinson’s witty and clever Blackadder instead.
Is Bean suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...