Film Club Review – OSS 117: Lost in Rio
What a great comedy. This French James Bond spoof set in Brazil scratched just the right comedy itch. As a Bond spoof its not nearly as over-the-top as Austin Powers, but its just as hilarious. Jean Dujardin hit just the right note as Hubert de la Bath, France’s top womanizing spy. He has a sort of David Brent/Michael Scott aspect to his character through his suppressed racist and sexism, which makes for some hilarious dialogue.
I was a little worried that the jokes wouldn’t translate well because of the subtitles. But I only came across one or two which fell flat due to the language barrier. Otherwise, the jokes came across just fine and had me laughing more times than not. There’s some great lines in here, like “The World’s fine! Why change it?” “They believe in love, not war.” “But both are possible.”
Lost in Rio is an excellent example of what a parody movie should be. It exists in its own world despite the many references to Bond and other spy films (including one of my favourites, North by Northwest). They are even able to use the French New Wave style they shoot the film in as a tool of satire, especially with the use of split screens (even used during a hippie orgy!). But what Lost in Rio accomplishes especially well is how it seems to straddle the line between natural humour and absurd humour perfectly. It is somehow even able to give a scene where de le Bath arrives at a Nazi party in a Robin Hood costume just the right amount of ridiculousness for it to work.
This is a funny, funny movie with a lot of style, a lot of wit, and a lot fun.