The offbeat humour continues in OSS 117, Rio Ne Répond Plus
by Fabien Lemercier
15/04/2009 - There has been enormous media coverage and an enthusiastic critical response for Michel Hazanavicius’ quirky comedy sequel OSS 117, Rio Ne Répond Plus [trailer] (“OSS 117: No Response from Rio”), which is being launched today by Gaumont on 589 screens.
The first instalment, OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies [trailer] (2006), was set in 1955 and garnered 2.3m admissions. In the follow-up, spy Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath (played by popular actor Jean Dujardin) returns to hunt down a Nazi in Brazil in 1967, with the help of a beautiful Mossad agent (Louise Monot).
Co-written by the director and Jean-François Halin, OSS 117, Rio Ne Répond Plus features very caustic humour based on the stupidity of the central character, who is defined as "French, vaguely racist, in any case uneducated, sure of himself, ignorant and superior", according to Hazanavicius.
His co-screenwriter added: "You can see the film as a straightforward comedy. But in both the text and direction, there is a second layer, a reference, a tribute". Indeed, there are allusions to Harper, That Man from Rio, The Thomas Crown Affair, North by Northwest, the Matt Helm series, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Suzuki’s Tokyo Drifter.
Produced by Mandarin Cinéma, the feature was made for €23.36m. This included co-production support from M6 Films and pre-sales from Canal + and Ciné Cinéma. Gaumont is also co-producing and handling international sales.
Other new releases hitting theatres this Wednesday include Bertrand Tavernier’s outstanding In the Electric Mist [trailer, film focus] (TFM Distribution); Juliette Garcias’ Be Good [trailer] (in competition at Rotterdam 2009 - released by Les Films du Losange); and Pierre Léon’s L'Idiot [trailer] (“The Idiot”, Baba Yaga).
European cinema shines with UK director Michael Winterbottom’s Genova [trailer] (Diaphana on 45 screens) and three high-quality documentaries: Let's Make Money [trailer] by Austria’s Erwin Wagenhofer (Ad Vitam); Katanga Business by Belgium’s Thierry Michel (Pierre Grise Distribution); and Juan Jose Lozano’s Swiss/French co-production Unwanted Witness [trailer] (Eurozoom).
(Translated from French)