OSS 117: Lost in Rio

Considered as a film alone, this sequel to the delightful French 2006 retro-spy romp now wears its premise rather thin. But add in the closing-night gala party at the nearby Pan Pacific Hotel…well, it’s just barely a pick. Agent 0SS 117 (Jean Dujardin) is back, but he’s stumbled forward from the early Cold War espionage period (James Bond) to the late ’60s (perilously close to Austin Powers). Dispatched to Brazil to retrieve some damning microfilm from Nazis, our blithely arrogant dimwit hero encounters hippies, Jews (including a sexy Mossad agent played by Louise Monot), Chinese assassins, and loud-mouthed CIA bullies. And, yes, Hubert manages to offend them all with his oblivious, De Gaullist notions of patriarchal French superiority. But we got that joke the first time. After a ski-lodge dance party intro, Hubert’s antics—and all the split-screen Thomas Crown Affair montages—become progressively less hilarious, allowing you to study the perfect period costumes and background décor. Hubert’s lapels are wider, the ladies’ skirts are shorter, men’s hair is longer, and strange new polyester fabrics now come in burnt oranges, bright mustards, and startling mauves. Much to his chagrin, the world is changing around Hubert. Still, he clings to the old ways. When the Mossad hottie lists his many imperfections—“You’re old, full of yourself, borderline racist…”—he hears only one criticism, and sounds genuinely hurt by it: “A tacky dresser?” (SIFF tickets and info: 324-9996, www.siff.net.) (NR) BRIAN MILLER

Sun., June 14, 6:30 p.m., 2009

 
comments powered by Disqus