OSS 117: Le Caire, Nid d'Espions
OSS 117 - Cairo: Nest of Spies
OSS 117 - Der Spion der sich liebte
Eric Altmayer, Nicolas Altmayer, Sarim Fassi (executive) for Gaumont, Mandarin Films, M6 Films, Canal+, CinéCinéma, Artémis
directed by Michel Hazanavicius
starring Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, Aure Atika, Philippe Lefebvre, Youssef Hamid, Arsène Mosca, Michael Hofland, Francois Damiens, Khalid Maadour, Constantin Alexandrov, Claude Broset, Laurent Bateau, Said Amadis, Eric Prat, Abdellah Moundy, Richard Sammel, Jean-Francois Halin, Marc Bodnar, Bernard Nissile, Alain Kouhani, Diego Dieng, Mouloud Ikhaddelene, Chouki Gtari, Hafid F. Benamar, Hassan Chabaki, Johannes Oliver Hamm, Hedi Naili, Jean-Mari Paris, Laura Schiffman, Roger To Thanh Hien
scenario by Jean-Francois Halin, adaption and dialogue by Jean-Francois Halin, Michel Hazanavicius, based on characters created by Jack Bruce, music by Ludovic Bource, Kamel Ech-Cheik
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1955: Secret agent OSS 117 (Jean Dujardin) is called to Cairo, Egypt,
to investigate the disappearance of fellow agent and best friend Jack
Jefferson (Philippe Lefebvre) and put a halt to a gunrunning operation. Now OSS 117 hasn't got the first idea about
Egyptian culture, so he makes a total fool of himself pretty much wherever
he goes, but he's got a pretty Egyptian assistant, Larmina (Bérénice
Bejo), who saves his ass quite a few times when he doesn't even deserve it
and despite he insults her culture every step along the way.
rather poor disguise as chicken farmer, OSS 117 eventually manages to
attract and defeat quite a number of baddies, including Nazis and Muslim
extremists, before he's brought face to face with the man running the
gunrunning outfit: Jack Jefferson, who has faked his own death and chose
his second career as a villain to get even with OSS 117, who always
treated him as nothing more than a neglectable sidekick.
everything ends happily for OSS 117 and Larmina though.
books and on the big screen (not the small screen mind you), OSS 117
predated the most famous of all secret agents James
Bond by a handful of years, so it might (or might not) seem
fitting that he would eventually end up being the central character of a
spoof of Eurospy cinema from the 1950's and 60's.
The resulting film is
definitely not without its charms, aesthetically, it does certainly manage
to recreate the atmosphere of the movies of old, many plottwists and the
like seem to have been pulled right out of vintage pulps, and the actors
are doing their best to fall in line with the requirements of their roles
- and yet, OSS 117: Caire, Nid d'Espions simply isn't a very good
film. Basically the whole thing isn't very funny, the humour lacks
subtlety and is a bit on the repetitive side, the story lacks proper
buildup and thus the plottwists often seem to be pulled out of the hat
rather than anything else, and the portrayal of OSS 117 as a dim-witted
and politically incorrect nincompoop gets tiring after a while.
film's still good for the occasional chuckle, mind you, and Eurospy fans
will want to see it because of tons of injokes and the like ... but as a
whole, it's just not a very good movie.