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Janne the Director’s Favorite Rare Movies Top 100 List #66: OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies (2006)

April 4, 2011

Janne the Director with a Space Mahoney t-shirt from the movie No Law 400066. OSS 117 – Cairo Nest Of Spies [2007] [DVD] (2006)

Original title: OSS 117: Le Caire, nid d’espions

I have no idea how or if this has anything to do with the seven OSS 117-movies made 1956-1970 but I guess this is a remake in the same sense as Get Smart was, but the old cool kitschy 60’s remains intact in this one. I really loathe these kind of movies that is just made as an homage to movie eras long gone when they are made into comedies. Austin Powers sums it up. Or shit like Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.

But this… is… fucking mindbogglingly cool! I almost licked the screen.

It is a PERFECT rendering of the agent movies of the 60’s, the Connery Bond, Our Man Flint, and probably a ton of cool French agent movies from that era I never heard of. I don’t have to explain it really, everybody KNOW how the cover for agent pulp books look like. Well this looks just like that. But crisp.

It got it all: the miniature airplanes, the back-projection while driving, the “day-for-night”-filters, stock footage inserts. That might sound like a cheap movie but it got crazy high production value – just like the old Connery Bond movies back in the days and not turning into Lord of the Rings or something. Kill Bill don’t have much in common with this in terms of style or content but they both tries and succeeds with capturing what is so damn fun with certain genres. I almost dare to say that this could be for the agent movies what Raiders of the Lost Ark once was for the pulp adventure movies. Sure, it IS a spoof but it’s just a fresh re-imagination that tickled me in all the right places.

It never becomes Austin Powers because it TRULY honors the era and not spoofing. There are no kitsch-jokes here because they focused on making a COOL movie, a movie that would be cool in the 60’s and not just laughable today.

The cast is all around great and it helps that I can’t recognize any of the actors to make me believe the world it’s in (they might all be hot shit in France but what the fuck do I know?). Jean Dujardin as agent OSS 117 is the Cary Elwes the world has been missing. Sometimes he’s even the Peter Sellers the world been missing.

I can’t stop raving about how awesome it looks… I could pick ANY frame in the movie and it would be a great shot (feel free to name a place between 0 to 1:30 to prove my point). But it is more than just the looks… it really is so damn FUN to watch a movie made by people that isn’t hacks and actually LOVE what they are doing.

PREVIOUS ON THE LIST: 67. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994)

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