Ten years on from his last big screen adventure, Rowan Atkinson dons that tweed jacket again and unleashes more misfit disasters, this time on the French nation and the guests at the Cannes Film Festival. Those who can remember bits of every episode from the TV series have probably been counting down the days; others who have to leave the room whenever Bean appears on a screen won't find anything to change their opinion here.
After sneakily winning a raffle for a holiday to Cannes and a video camera, Mr Bean travels to Paris, where he plans to catch a train to the South of France. After a shellfish fiasco in a restaurant he goes to the platform and asks another intending passenger to video him getting on the train. But, as ever, one thing leads to another and the helpful passenger is stranded on the platform as the train pulls away, leaving Bean with the problem of the man's young son (Baldry) to deal with. It's going to be a long trip.
Time and more sophisticated TV humour have done nothing to lessen Atkinson's gift for physical comedy, which makes it even more of a disappointment that he's not working off a better script here. 'Mr Bean's Holiday' begins promisingly with the shrimp-in-the-mouth madness of the restaurant scene; once Bean hops on the train, however, the film starts to slowly go off the rails. For the most part it feels bitty and rushed - so annoying because you can see a much better film in the storyline.
Given that Atkinson was working with 'The League of Gentlemen' director Steve Bendelack, the potential to make a film that could combine the subversive and the slapstick was immense. Instead this ends up as sweet and slight, brightened by the charms of Atkinson, De Caunes and Baldry yet unable to create one great set piece after another for them.
There are a few special moments – most notably Willem Dafoe's great-but-too-short turn as an American arthouse director and his film's premiere at the Cannes Film Festival – but not enough to shell out for.