FILM REVIEW: “OSS 117: Cairo – Nest of Spies”

From Willamette Week, 2/13/08 [Portland International Film Festival Coverage]:

[FRANCE] With the charm of Austin Powers, the looks of James Bond and the aloofness of Inspector Clouseau, Hubert Bonisseur de La Bath (a.k.a. Special Agent OSS 117), is a bravado, tall, tan, hairy-chested, racist, imperialist, womanizing, homophobic spy who’ll kill a Nazi and screw a head of state’s busty niece in the same breath. So naturally the French government decides he’s the perfect candidate to venture to Cairo in the ‘50s, with the small task of “making the Middle East safe.” His misadventures with pyramids, medinas and Muslim femmes fatales never veer far from being flat-out dumb (one of the film’s main action sequences involves Agent OSS 117 and a man in a djellaba viciously throwing chickens at each other). But director Michel Hazanavicius’ spy-genre spoof is actually pretty giggle-worthy, and somehow also manages to lay into the dated French post-colonial attitudes toward the Muslim world. LANCE KRAMER. Portland Art Museum, 6:30 pm Friday, Feb. 15.


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