OSS 117: Lost in Rio (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner13/01/2010

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 101 mins

Hugely enjoyable, frequently hilarious spy spoof with terrific production design, a superb script and a performance from Jean Dujardin that is pure comedy gold.

What's it all about?
Directed by Michel Hazanavicius, OSS 117: Lost in Rio (aka OSS 117: Rio Ne Repond Plus, original title fans) is the eagerly-awaited sequel to 2008's OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies, starring Jean Dujardin as super-smooth but super-bigoted and super-clueless French secret agent Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath, code-named OSS 117. Set in 1967, the film begins as Hubert is ordered to Rio with instructions to buy a microfilm containing a list of French collaborators (“No wonder it's on microfilm – the list must be tiny!”) from ex-Nazi Professor Von Zimmel (Rudiger Vogler).

Once in Rio, Hubert touches base with his equally bigoted old CIA buddy Bill Trumendous (Ken Samuels) and is reluctantly teamed with sexy Mossad agent Dolores (Louise Monot), who wants to put Von Zimmel on trial. Dolores and Hubert decide that Von Zimmel's hippie son Heinrich (Alex Lutz) will lead them to the professor, so they set off to find him, dodging crocodiles, busty seductresses (Reem Kherici) and a series of vengeance-seeking Chinese hitmen from Hubert's previous mission along the way.

The Good
As with Cairo, Nest of Spies, the painstakingly detailed production design is nothing short of astonishing, perfectly recreating the look and style of 1960s spy movies, complete with stock footage, back projection and brightly coloured sets. There's also a fabulous 'yeh yeh' soundtrack that's like the icing on the cake.

The acting is pitch-perfect – Jean Dujardin delivers a performance that is pure comedy gold, creating a classic comic character who deserves a place alongside Inspector Clouseau, Austin Powers and Get Smart's Maxwell Smart. It's hard to imagine any other actor getting such huge laughs from his sexist, bigoted and outrageously non-PC one-liners but Dujardin completely sells Hubert's strange blend of suave charm and utter cluelessness, to the point where every line is guaranteed to have you giggling.

The Great
The script is jam-packed with hilarious sight gags and witty one-liners and Hazanavicius orchestrates some terrific comic set-pieces. Highlights include Hubert's encounter with a crocodile, Hubert inadvertently joining a beach orgy and a fabulous hospital chase scene.

Worth seeing?
OSS 117: Lost in Rio is a thoroughly enjoyable, frequently hilarious spy spoof with a terrific comic performance from Jean Dujardin. Highly recommended.

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Content updated: 18/12/2017 05:17

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