Friday, January 15, 2010

OSS-117: LOST IN RIO - sporadically funny French spy spoof

The OSS-117 movies are French parodies of the early Bond movies, where Bond was a slick-haired, cock-sure spy in a flash car and a shiny suit, bedding women to cheesy 1960s background music. The latest release, RIO NE REPOND PLUS or LOST IN RIO, sees the hapless French spy Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath dispatched to Rio to purchase a microfilm containing the names of French collaborators from a Nazi colonel. On the way he teams up with a beautiful Mossad agent called Dolores, the Nazi’s hippie son Heinrich, and a CIA agent called Trumendous. As with the previous OSS-117 flick, when the movie works, it works because of star Jean Dujardin’s tremendously funny facial expressions coupled with the fact that he really does have the cheesy grin and good looks of Sean Connery. There’s also a lot of verbal humour around Hubert’s verbal clumsiness in dealing with women, Mossad and Germans. The resulting film contains more than its fair share of laugh-out loud moments, even if the source of the humour is sub-Austin Powers. The problem is that this film is too long and contains too many scenes that just don’t work, especially early on in the film. For instance, the character of CIA agent Trumendous, who seems to just laugh and swear for no reason, simply doesn’t work as a spoof of Felix Leiter. I would’ve preferred a shorter, more tightly written movie, with a runtime of maybe 80 minutes rather than 100 minutes. This would’ve put the sequel up there with the first movie, CAIRO, NEST OF SPIES, which felt like it had a lot more energy and more consistent laughs. So, maybe one for DVD.

OSS 117 - LOST IN RIO / RIO NE REPOND PLUS was released in Belgium, France, Latvia, Greece, Russia and Kazakhstan in 2009. It is currently on limited release in the UK.

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