OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies

OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies Image
Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

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  • Summary: After a fellow agent and close friend is murdered, agent Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath, aka OSS 117, is ordered to take his place at the head of a poultry firm in Cairo. This is to be his cover while he investigates Jack's death, monitors the Suez Canal, checks up on the Brits and Soviets,After a fellow agent and close friend is murdered, agent Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath, aka OSS 117, is ordered to take his place at the head of a poultry firm in Cairo. This is to be his cover while he investigates Jack's death, monitors the Suez Canal, checks up on the Brits and Soviets, burnishes France's reputation, quells a fundamentalist rebellion, and brokers peace in the Middle East. A blithe and witty send-up not only of 1950s and '60s spy films and the suave secret agent figure, but also of neo-colonialism, ethnocentrism, and the very idea of Western covert action in the Middle East. (Music Box Films) Collapse

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 20
  2. Negative: 2 out of 20
  1. The real joy here is the performance of Jean Dujardin, who, besides being very funny as the Gallic Maxwell Smart, is also enormously charismatic and is made to look uncannily (and I do mean uncannily) like the young Sean Connery of "Dr. No" and "Goldfinger."
  2. 83
    The film bounces along on cheap but entertaining Mel Brooks-worthy audio and visual gags, like the live-chicken-throwing fight, or the sequence where the camera discreetly pans away from Dujardin and a partner making out on his hotel bed--only to focus on a full-length mirror in which they're still fully visible.
  3. A huge hit in France, Michel Hazanavicius' straight-faced spy spoof unleashes a French operative of incomparable incompetence on the volatile Middle East of 1955.
  4. 70
    This French comedy fondly lampoons both the popular French spy movies adapted from Jean Bruce's novels in the 1950s and '60s and the colonialist era they were set in.
  5. 70
    Light and fun, if also a little slight, OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies is like a pleasant sorbet to wash away the aftertaste of the pre-summer clunkers.
  6. 63
    An arch espionage comedy that's never as amusing as it thinks it is.
  7. 25
    Let the French stick to love stories and leave stupid comedies to Tinseltown.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. AlanB.
    May 13, 2008
    10
    Great French farce of 60's Spy films with brilliantly comedic performance by Jean Dejardin in the title role of French secret agent OSS 117.
  2. JackB.
    May 12, 2008
    10
    I don't give 10s to that many movies, but this one is a just about perfect comedy. Endlessly re-watchable, just as funny the fifth time I don't give 10s to that many movies, but this one is a just about perfect comedy. Endlessly re-watchable, just as funny the fifth time as the first. Great little subtleties you only notice after watching a few times. Expand
  3. May 11, 2016
    9
    This was a solid debut for Hazanavicius and a very fun film. There's uneven pacing, but I was very pleased with this, which seemed anThis was a solid debut for Hazanavicius and a very fun film. There's uneven pacing, but I was very pleased with this, which seemed an interesting hybrid between the James Bond and Pink Panther film series. I loved the scoring and cinematography as well. Dujardin's character was a bit strange and the pacing was a tad uneven, but those are small flaws. This is the first of Hazanavicius' films I have seen, though I have 'The Artist' on blu. I've heard that in the sequel, he jumps a decade to the 60's--it would be interesting, if they decide to eventually continue the series, if each film could be of following decades, straight through to the present day. It was clever of the writers, through parallelism, to subconsciously suggest a linkage of the Nazis to radical Arab terrorists, so soon after 9/11, and, six years before 'Skyfall', what anyone knowing anything about espionage and counterintelligence would undoubtedly know--that all agents would probably be bisexual. I look forward to checking out Hazanavicius' other films, and hope there are eventually more in this series, for I have loved all kinds of spy films and spoofs of them, in the history of cinema. Expand
  4. Jan 9, 2015
    4
    For a few smart scenes, this movie is unfunny for me. It was been there, done that, plain and simple. I hate the silliness in it, theFor a few smart scenes, this movie is unfunny for me. It was been there, done that, plain and simple. I hate the silliness in it, the embarrassing scenes which people are mechanized to laugh at, which is an insult. I don't like it. It isn't a good comedy, dumb and sophomoric. Bad. Expand

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