My review of the 14th French film I've seen in 2010. Hint: contains more grumbling.
Those who bemoan the state of the English-language spoof film will be both disappointed and assured to find out that efforts from foreign shores are no less banal. OSS 117: Lost In Rio (Rio Ne Répond Plus) is the second in a successful (in France) series of spy movie pastiches, that stars Jean Dujardin as the farcical international special agent Hubert Bonisseur de La Bath.
OSS 117 enters an arena filled with plenty of misses and a few hits, with characters that have maintained a profile despite diluted returns and eventual self-parody. Hubert is not the equal of Sellers' Inspector Clouseau, Frank Drebin, or prime Austin Powers, but that is not the fault of Dujardin, who grins and smarms his way through the role, barrel-chested and broad-browed, evoking a winking Gene Kelly, a smouldering Warren Beatty and a wild, fist-first Brando in a cheeky mash-up.
No, the problems with Lost In Rio are deep-set, in the plot and script. Hubert's mission to Brazil is flimsy nonsense, merely a mechanic to move around what few jokes, set-pieces and characters the writers could come up with.
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