OSS 117 a film by Michel Hazanavicius
The hero of OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies might be described as a French equivalent of James Bond. Or even a precursor, since the first novel in which he appears predates Ian Flemings Casino Royale by a few years. But the template is basically the same: a dashing agent seducing, scheming and shooting his way through cold war trouble spots in the service of a fading imperial power. But this film, directed Michel Hazanavicius and starring Jean Dujardin as Agent 117 (also known as Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath), departs from the Bond model by pointedly spoofing its hero and his worldview. Sent to Egypt in the tense prelude to the Suez crisis of 1956, Hubert is blithely ignorant of that countrys history and culture, as well as shockingly retrograde in his treatment of women (perhaps not so shockingly really). The satire to which he is subjected nonetheless has an air of scolding didacticism. Brnice Bjo, as his local foil and love interest, takes up the pedagogical burden. Were all fond of Hubert, but were also so much more enlightened.
In Mr. Hazanaviciuss hands, however, the techniques of action filmmaking appear to have stalled. Not that Cairo, Nest of Spies is meant to be a thriller, but even as a self-consciously anachronistic knockabout farce it rarely rises to the level of wit, either verbal or physical, manifested by the old Get Smart series. That syndication staple will be updated this summer in a big-screen version starring Steve Carell. If you cant wait, and you dont mind subtitles and some rather heavy-handed stabs at contemporary geopolitical relevance, OSS 117 may tide you over.
Lake Worth Playhouse
709 Lake Avenue
Lake Worth, FL 33460
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|