OSS 117: Lost in Rio

Posted May 10, 2010 in Film

“Some people have adventures. I am an adventure,” preens Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath (Jean Dujardin), the ’60s super spy with a super ego. De la Bath—or his better known codename OSS 117—is a suavely ridiculous jerk. Think Austin Powers, only handsome, charming and smooth, not a parody in bad pants. OSS doesn’t have rotten teeth—in fact, Dujardin has a great, wolfish grin—but he’s got rotten views on women, blacks, hippies, Jews and “Chinamen.” And it’s damned funny. Director Michel Hazanavicius loves his sublimely naive bigot, and so do we, even if leggy feminist and Mossad agent Dolores (Louise Monot) is immune. This sequel to Cairo, Nest of Spies sends 117 to Brazil to wrest a list of French Nazi collaborators from a South American wrestling impresario (“Didn’t General de Gaulle say all French resisted the Nazis?” he wonders), where he’s immediately pounced upon by vengeful Chinese killers and meddling Israeli agents, both of whom he dismisses with a smirk. Fall sway to Lost in Rio’s cavalier comedy and faded postcard cinematography and this is one of the best comedies of the year


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