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62

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

User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 16 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, 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) Expand
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. 75
    For a parody, the movie is surprisingly competent in some of the action scenes, when the dim-witted hero turns out to have lightning improvisational skills.
  4. Reviewed by: Joshua Katzman
    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. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    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. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    63
    It hardly adds up to much, but it doesn't mean to, and it'll leave you with a cleaner conscience than an Austin Powers picture.
  7. 25
    Let the French stick to love stories and leave stupid comedies to Tinseltown.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. 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 as the first. Great little subtleties you only notice after watching a few times. Collapse
  2. 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.