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.
Cast and crew