Wednesday, June 30, 2010

OSS 117 - Lost in Rio (2009)

I rarely write about comedies here at Ninja Dixon, but sometimes a movie is so good and charming that it's hard not to. OSS 117 - Lost in Rio is the second of the new series of movies with the master-spy of France himself, Hubert Bonisseur de La Bath. The first (OSS 117 - Cairo, Nest of Spies) one came in 2006 and of course Jean Dujardin is back as the slightly stupid, racist, old-fashioned who treats women like pieces of meat and his missions like paid vacations.

Now, these movies are very different from other parodies like Austin Powers. First of all, they're a lot funnier and they never step outside the movies they celebrate. OSS 117 still looks exactly like a movie from the sixties, from the cinematography, editing, costumes, make-up, storylines... yes, everything. What differs is that they of course is a bit absurder and has broader comedy. Like the first one, Lost in Rio, looks and feels amazing. Jean Dujardin could have been one of those actors who actually did real spy-movies during that time: he's handsome, charismatic and knows how to dance. In this new adventure OSS 177 goes to Rio to work together with the Mossad, though he have a difficult time to understand what the nazis actually did to the jews. He's after Von Zimmel (Rüdiger Vogler), a nazi that has a list of French nazi co-workers during the war (which surprises OSS 117 totally, that the French could work with the enemy!). Von Zimmel also has two mexican wrestlers as bodyguards, Zantrax and Blue Devil!

But the biggest problem is that OSS 117 has to work together with a woman, a sexy Colonel of the Israeli army, Dolorès Koulechov (Louise Monot)! Could this be the end of our favorite spy, or can he survive his mission even with a women as his equal?

This is very, very, very funny. But I guess it's most funny for us who's actually seen a lot of these sixties spy-movies, not only Bond of course. But from Italy and France. The humor is quite subtle sometimes, but can suddenly be pure visual slapstick (for example the fight between OSS 117 and Blue Devil or when our hero is shot at during a lenghty sequence). A nice touch, who's also based on the real production company of the movie, is that Lost in Rio seem to be one of those typical Hong Kong-European co-productions from the time, complete with a nice logo for the asian company. You'll understand when you see it.

The best thing is that this one, like the first one, never get's to big or expensive. It never becomes modern with the action, with huge action-sequences or visible special effects. The story is still how it could have been in the sixties and the action is mostly smaller shoot-outs, fistfights and of course car-chases with back-projection.

Even if OSS 117 is quite a bastard, very stupid and egocentrical man with some very strange views on everyone else then French people, he's played with such love and passion by Dujardin that it's hard to dislike him. He even get's a chance to taste some man-love in this one!

Even better than the first one, this is a movie that I will revisit many times. Can't wait for the third part!

(and I just can't stop laughing at the crocodile-BBQ-scene...)

1 comment:

Phantom of Pulp said...

Great review, Fred. I saw this recently theatrically and loved it. Been meaning to write about it but other stuff pushed it aside. I like your point about how it never gets too big and isn't obliterated up its own ass by huge action.