If you are into spoofs, if you love Austin Powers, Mr. Bean, Airplane!, and Inspector Clouseau, then try the French version, OSS 117: Lost in Rio. Our “hero” is Jean Dujardin who looks sort of like an early Sean Connery — just a little off.
117 is all ego, totally racist, absolutely sexist, and about life and the world he is totally clueless. When all the beautiful women watch his gorgeous body about to make a super dive into the pool, he flashes back to his days at the circus when he was an acrobat and dropped his partner, and he backs off. Twenty Chinese gunmen shoot at him, but the bullets never touch him. He is on a plane which is about to crash in the jungle. He begs a hairpin from his partner — a gorgeous Mossad colonel — to jimmy the door to the pilot’s cabin, grabs the controls just in time… almost. They crash in a ball of fire and the three passengers walk away totally unharmed, unwrinkled, and one of them with his guitar intact.
What I’m saying is: if you like your humor that broad, give the French guy a chance. His first spoof, OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies was a hit in France. The gags are a bit repetitious and yet… what can you do when three castaways are starving on an island, two go for nuts and berries while 117 kills an alligator, sets up a barbecue, guts the alligator by hand, and can’t understand why it is so slow cooking? The final scene steals from Vertigo when he goes over a 1,000-foot cliff with his Nazi victim and they both end up in the hospital attached to lifelines, still playing the game, pushing their poles with wires and blood down the hall in hospital gowns tied in the back, asses bare, trying to make it to the elevator… It’s gag-gag-gag, some a bit ho-hum, and then you get a zinger. The bullets are flying, 117 has left his jacket and briefcase in the line of fire; he runs back to get the briefcase, hundreds of bullets miss him, and he runs back to get his jacket.
For Fans Of: Austin Powers, Mr. Bean, Johnny English, Airplane!, The Pink Panther
Why We Like It: lighthearted and goofy, good gags, stylish spy buffoonery