France's super secret agent man is back in "OSS 117 — Lost in Rio," and he's better, and worse, than ever with a lot of bang, bang, bang, stumble, bumble, fumble in flashy '60s era suits of impeccably poor taste.
The latest edition of the French spoof again stars Jean Dujardin as Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath, an idiot suave-ant of secret agents with brilliantine hair and a specialty for sailing through politically incorrect pronouncements with the same aplomb he does shoot-outs with bad guys.
For director Michel Hazanavicius, who resurrected the OSS 117 franchise in 2006's "OSS 117 — Cairo, Nest of Spies," "Lost in Rio" is a clear case of overkill. That's not necessarily a criticism, or only a bit of one, since the French tend to treat farce like saltwater taffy — they stretch it to absurd extremes then proceed to savor it for a long time. It's what makes them such fans of Jerry Lewis comedy.
The story picks up 12 years after the Cold War era of "Cairo, Nest of Spies," in 1967, an era tailor-made for fun poking between the clothes and the beach-blanket-bingo culture. The world has changed, but Hubert hasn't. He's still swimming in arrogance, steeped in misogyny, bigotry and the rest, and still as likable and forgivable as ever.