Cinema Junkie by Beth Accomando
OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies
The name's Bond... um, I mean Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath. (Music Box Films)
OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies (opening May 16 at Landmark's Ken Cinema) is one mouthful of a title. But it does exactly what a good title should do - it conveys something about the film. In this case, it signals that you are in for a spoof on spy movies. Most Americans will assume that it's simply poking fun at James Bond but that's only part of the joke. OSS 117 also refers to a famous French spy who appeared in nearly a 100 novels beginning in 1949, and a handful of movies in the 50s and 60s. So that may explain why the film's been such a hit in France where it plays on their own pop culture. It's been such a homegrown hit that there's already talk of sequels.
Cairo, 1955. Everyone suspects everyone of something; everyone is plotting against or double crossing everyone else; nobody trusts anybody; and the British, the French, the Soviets, the family of the deposed King Farouk, and the insurgent religious sect Eagles of Kheops are all engaged in some sort of covert activity in Egypt. Into this nest of spies, the President of the French Republic, Monsieur René Coty, sends his best weapon: Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath, agent OSS 117 (Jean Dujardin). Or as one of the femme fatales he meets says, "numbered like a cow for slaughter." Any way, OSS 117 must discover who killed a fellow spy and restore order to Cairo and the world. Along the way he encounters a bevy of beauties, some with lethal intentions. (You can also listen to my Film Chat about OSS 117 and Son of Rambow .)