While not exactly the most fearsome James Bond knockoff in OSS 117: Lost In Rio, Jean Dujardin’s Agent Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath is certainly the most enthusiastically politically incorrect. Much more than just an international espionage satire, Lost In Rio aspires to ludicrous political grossout nonstop.
Directed by French filmmaker Michael Hazanavicius in a followup to his 2006 OSS 117: Cairo Nest Of Spies, Lost In Rio finds the ready to rumble and magnificently rude dandified French spy scouting around foremost for incidental hotties who may or may not be enemy agents themselves. Which generally seems to be beside the point.
Sent to Rio during what seems like an eternal Summer Of Love in 1967, Hubert is on a mission to retrieve microfilm in the possession of a former SS commander. Who happens to be hiding among a sinister den of Nazi exiles given safe haven by the right wing Brazilian junta. The microfilm in question is sought by the French government, not only for the clues it contains about treasures hidden away in Switzerland since WW II, but because the data will reveal a list of French collaborators with the German Nazis back then, information they’d rather have seized and destroyed. Including among them Hubert’s nervous boss back at the espionage headquarters.
Meanwhile, Hubert is joined in his quest by the alluring Mossad spy Dolores (Louise Monot), a generally glum feminist who appears equally revolted by the outrageously sexist Hubert and the Nazis she’s pursuing for entirely different motives. Though he’s quite the equal opportunity bigot, spouting enough racist and anti-Semitic platitudes to potentially incite unrest across the planet.
Now while these various plot points may seem terribly serious for a wild spoof, the beauty of this film is that it’s a nearly flawless combination of the two, balancing comedy with a more than generous infusion of some brutal historical truths. And the sheer delight of Lost In Rio, is sorting out sinister sociopolitical swipes from all the just plain silly fun.
Music Box Films