OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies (12A)

Film

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Nov 4 2008

This light-hearted pastiche is a recommended antidote to ‘Quantum of Solace’. It’s a French spin on their own secret agent franchise, based on the numerous OSS 117 novels of Jean Bruce, which pre-dated Fleming’s novels and spawned a series of uneven movie adaptations. Thankfully, director and co-writer Michel Hazanavicius’s delightful ’Scope parody is a treat in its own right, carried sturdily along by the performance of talented comedian Jean Dujardin as the preening, smug and un-reconstructed agent who’s sent out to revolutionary Egypt in 1955 on a simple mission to ‘calm down the Americans, Russians and English; buttress French policy; establish peace; and make the Middle East safe.’

Treading a clever line between Connery-era Bond-isms – replete with spot-on design, cinematographic and other genre quotations – and playful proddings at contemporary French (and by extension, English) macho posturing, political condescension, cultural ignorance and sexual chauvinism, it also scores with its embrace of lame sight gags, crass sexual innuendo, silly or juvenile action sequences, and exquisite sequences of meaninglessly aphoristic or coded conversations.

It’s directed, too, with skill and brio, with Ludovic Bource and Kamel Ech-Cheik providing a lovely score that lampoons naff lounge-lizard MOR and ’60s-era Henry Mancini. But Dujardin carries the day: he probably has the élan, physical presence, hauteur and grace to play the role straight – but you can feel his enjoyment of his tuxedoed character’s Clouseauesque cluelessness, smirky smile, buffonish complacence and child-like naivety and enthusiasm goes far deeper. This guy – as his mean mambo shows – has funny bones.
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Release details

Rated:

12A

UK release:

Fri Nov 7, 2008

Duration:

99 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

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LiveReviews|5
1 person listening
mappeal

I've seen the film and I thought it was great, made me smile, made me laugh and I loved the soundtrack. I'd recommend this to everyone.

mappeal

I've seen the film and I thought it was great, made me smile, made me laugh and I loved the soundtrack. I'd recommend this to everyone.

Margo McLaughlin

What? Anybody ever heard of something called Austin Powers: Man of Mystery? I didn't think so. Here's a clue - it starred Mike Myers. Anybody ever heard of something called Poltergeist? Another clue - this one was director by Tobe Hooper. Yeah, that Poltergeist. I don't know who the sequels were directed by, but they pretty much sucked except for that guy who played Kane and stands at the screen door saying scary things to Craig T. Nelson.

Alan Bobet

Great French Spy Spoof with an excellent comedic star making performance by Dejardin as French secret agent OSS 117. Film completely captures the look, style and campy appeal of the Euro Spy films of the 1960's like THAT MAN IN ISTAMBUL, THAT MAN FROM RIO & DEADLIER THAN THE MALE, while poking satiric fun at the condescending and ignorant attitudes of Western & European countries towards Middle Eastern customs. A real crowd pleaser and more subtle in a Pink Panther comic sense than Austin Powers.

Alan Bobet

Great French Spy Spoof with an excellent comedic star making performance by Dejardin as French secret agent OSS 117. Film completely captures the look, style and campy appeal of the Euro Spy films of the 1960's like THAT MAN IN ISTAMBUL, THAT MAN FROM RIO & DEADLIER THAN THE MALE, while poking satiric fun at the condescending and ignorant attitudes of Western & European countries towards Middle Eastern customs. A real crowd pleaser and more subtle in a Pink Panther comic sense than Austin Powers.