Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. France, 2009. Mandarin Films, Gaumont, M6 Films, Canal+, CineCinema. Screenplay by Jean-Francois Halin, Michel Hazanavicius, based on the character created by Jean Bruce. Cinematography by Guillaume Schiffman. Produced by Eric Altmayer, Nicolas Altmayer. Music by Ludovic Bource. Production Design by Maamar Ech-Cheikh. Costume Design by Nathalie Chesnais. Film Editing by Reynald Bertrand.
Second film remade from the older film series, once again teaming Jean Dujardin with director Michel Hazanavicius. Agent de la Bath (aka OSS 117) is sent to Brazil with Israeli babelicious operative Louise Monot to find a Nazi war criminal who has gone into hiding. Our sexy spy cannot help but provide his “modern” thinking at every possible opportunity, constantly telling his partner that she would be better off becoming a wife and mother, while himself often ignoring his duties to participate in orgies with beautiful bikini-clad witnesses. The plot, meanwhile, gives plenty of opportunity to criticize the short memory for France’s dark history of collaboration during World War II without being didactic about it. The tone is often uneven, at times witty (“Everyone must conquer his fears. Yours is Nazis, mine is the trapeze”) but often putting in a lot of detailed effort (including gorgeous photography and terrific costumes) into something that is undeniably silly. It’s also too self-aware to be a fully satisfying and intelligent delight, but it moves quickly and has more than its fair share of laugh out loud moments, particularly since Dujardin commits like a champ and Monot is a good sport at taking his nonsense.