Thursday, December 17, 2009

French Spies

Back in the 60s, the French made a series of James Bond ripoff movies known as OSS 117. This series has been revived in OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies.

Jean Dujardin plays Hubert Bonissuer de la Bath, secret agent OSS 117. The year is 1955 and Hubert's WWII comrade Jack Jefferson has gone missing while investigating arms shipments in Cairo. Ah, Jack, Hubert remembers how they used to play on the beach, roll together in the surf, throw their heads back and laugh...

Where was I? Oh yes, Cairo. OSS 117 is sent to find out what is happening. He discovers that it is a nest of spies: Russian, English, American, and most dangerous of all, Belgian. He has a beautiful female assistant who is somehow insulted when Hubert tells her the Islam is a stupid religion that people will get tired of soon enough. He is mainly concerned about getting to try out his new tuxedo. He punches out the muezzin so he can get some sleep.

De la Bath bumbles through the film like Inspector Clousseau, incredibly inept but coming out on top every time (and getting the girl). Dujardin does a brilliant job, channeling Jean-Paul Belmondo (who starred in a lot of these 60s/70s Bond knockoffs) and Sean Connery, by way of Don Adams and Steve Carrell. He would make this movie worthwhile even if it had been a lot weaker. But it was actually very funny.

So, we now want to watch some Belmondo and, finally, the Steve Carrell Get Smart. One question: when will the sequel, OSS 117: Lost in Rio, be available?

No comments: