OSS 117: Lost in Rio
This shaggy superspy spoof sequel to Cairo, Nest of Spies (both of which popped up at recent Sacramento French film festivals) is cross-cultural ham-sandwiched between laugh-out-loud irreverence and cringe-worthy bad taste. The politically and socially unconscious as well as professionally clueless Gallic secret agent Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath (Jean Dujardin) is sent to swinging-'60s Brazil to retrieve a ransomed, potentially embarrassing microfilm list of World War II Nazi collaborators. While shadowed by Chinese assassins, he crosses paths with a sexy Mossad agent (Louise Monot), a foulmouthed CIA operative (the scene-stealing Ken Samuels) and a vagabond hippie with an improbable, key link to the skeletal, action-laced story line. De la Bath as misogynistic, smug idiot is not your typically embraceable hero of sorts, but director Michel Hazanavicius splashes James Bond, Matt Helm, In Like Flint, Pink Panther and Hitchcock references and potshots into a frothy, deliciously retro cocktail and gives them a vigorous shake.