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Film / OSS 117: Lost in Rio

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OSS 117: Lost in Rio (OSS 117: Rio ne répond plus) is a 2009 French spy comedy, and the the second film (also directed by Michel Hazanavicius) about the comedic misadventures of Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath, a.k.a. OSS 117.

In this installment, 117 is sent to Brazil in 1967 to obtain a list of French World War II collaborators from an old Nazi. While there, he meets up with a foxy Israeli spy named Dolores who is determined to capture the Nazi. Of course, the idiotic 117 can't stop embarrassing her with his blissful ignorance and prejudices.

Like its predecessor, OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies, the film stars Jean Dujardin as a version of the OSS 117 character who might be best described as Sean Connery's James Bond... if Bond were both amazingly stupid and paternalistically racist. Based on a not-at-all satirical series of French spy novels, which first inspired not-at-all satirical spy films, mainly in The '60s.

A third OSS 117 film with Dujardin, OSS 117: From Africa with Love, was released on August 4, 2021.

OSS 117: Lost in Rio provides examples of:

  • Affectionate Parody: Of the early James Bond films and other sexy spy thrillers of The '60s.
  • All Germans Are Nazis: 117 has heard about the theory that all Germans are not all Nazis. He doesn't think much of it. Ironically, he chastises Dolores for generalizing that all Nazis were SS.
  • Argentina Is Nazi-Land: Well, Brazil Is Naziland in this case.
  • Berserk Button: Don't speak ill of your own father in front of Hubert. Even if your father is a literal Nazi.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Atop Christ the Redeemer. With fireworks.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The CIA agent swears at and insults 117 repeatedly in English, then laughs in his face. Also, his name is Bill Trumendous.
  • Black Vikings: During the Nazi Party scene, a few of the SS officers in the backgrounds are black. That is probably intentional.
  • Bookcase Passage: Von Zimmel's Mad Scientist Laboratory is hidden behind a bookcase, which he opens by pulling on a particular book. He tells everyone to turn around so they can't see which book.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Hubert fires at least fifty shots without reloading from his pistol in the opening sequence.
  • Brick Joke: 117 is upset that Dolores wouldn't give him enough time to carve a swan head for their paddle boat when he made one on the fly. During The Stinger, he's gleefully riding a magnificent swan paddle boat.
  • Call-Back: The way 117 chases the villain down the walkways around the waterfall is the same way he chases the villain down the streets of Cairo in the previous film. He pauses at every intersection to look around before dashing off in one direction, even though this time he should be able to see the exact path to the villain no matter where he is.
  • Character Title
  • Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: The CIA agent tells 117, "We're only allies when you need us to liberate you."
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • 117's fear of heights. Of course, he gets over it when needed.
    • A significantly sillier version is the plans for the duck paddle boat 117 tucks into his breast pocket before going on his mission
  • Climbing Climax: 117 faces off with Von Zimmel on top of the Christ the Redeemer statue.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Played for Laughs as 117 needs to leave the hospital, but he has no clothes. The lovely nurse says that the old gardener has some clothes, but she isn't sure if they're his style — it's a tuxedo that fits him perfectly. Then he says he needs a car, and she tells him that the old gardener has one, but it might not be his style — it's a snazzy convertible.
  • Distracted by the Sexy:
    • 117 forgets about the mission when he sees topless girls on the beach.
    • He also forgets about Von Zimmel after the Low-Speed Chase at the hospital when a Hospital Hottie walks in the elevator where he just got his head squeezed between the doors.
  • Dramatic Unmask: Heinrich Von Zimmel reveals that he is actually a Nazi like his dad, by revealing his hippie hair as a wig.
  • Flash Back Echo: The flashback that reveals Hubert himself is carrying the list of Nazi agents is almost identical to the exposition immediately preceding it.
  • Foot Popping: The last kiss between Dolores and 117.
  • Foreign-Language Tirade: CIA agent Bill Trumendous speaks French fine but enjoys insulting 117 in English.
    Trumendous: [to 117, in French] Good old Hubert, always a barrel of laughs. [in English] What a jerk! You stupid son of a bitch!
  • Foreshadowing: A shot relatively early in the film makes sure to catch a prominent scar on 117's upper right chest. That's where Von Hammel hid the microfilm back in the day.
  • Fourth Reich: 117 has to fight against Nazis in Brazil attempting to establish a Fifth Reich, since they failed at creating a Fourth one with Von Zimmel.
  • Greedy Jew: Of course, as he explains to them, it's not because of this trope that he doesn't trust them with money.
  • Global Ignorance: Keeping up with the previous film's trend, 117 confuses jews and muslims, and seems to think all asian people come from China (he calls the Japanese "Chinese from Japan").
  • Hating on Monday: When 117 goes to the office on a Monday morning, he asks one secretary how she's doing, and she answers with a jaded "Like on a Monday..."
  • Hiding Behind the Language Barrier: Bill Trumendous the CIA guy takes advantage of 117's total lack of English to fling non-stop insults at him in that language.
  • Hollywood Darkness: In keeping with the parody, all night scenes are shot day-for-night on particularly sunny days so that it's quite obvious.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Dolores effectively does all the investigation by herself, since 117 is comically inept at it.
  • Hypocritical Humor: 117 thinks that All Germans Are Nazis, but chastises Dolores for implying that all Nazis were SS. "Don't generalize!"
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Dolores grabs Friedrich as a hostage, when she and 117 are in a tight spot. 117 takes the gun from her, and promptly shoots and kills Friedrich by accident, depriving them of their leverage.
  • Impairment Shot: 117's vision always blurs when his fear of heights kicks in.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Parodied. 117 gets into several gunfights at close range and makes no attempt to dodge or even take cover. In another scene, while under a hailstorm of gunfire, he goes back to retrieve a briefcase full of money, then goes back to get his jacket and sunglasses, then pauses a third time as if wondering if he's forgotten anything else.
  • Insistent Terminology: 117 corrects the Mossad agents several times that his code number is "One Hundred and Seventeen" ("Cent dix-sept"), not "Double-One Seven".
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: At the Nazi party, 117 says that they can try and blend in, which is immediately followed by Von Zimmel on the stage introducing them to everyone else at the party. Then 117 tells Dolores "At least I'm still undercover," immediately followed by Von Zimmel saying "Or should I say, OSS 117!"
  • Interchangeable Asian Cultures: 117 can't remember which Asian country allied with the Nazis. He also calls all Asian people "Chinamen".
  • Intoxication Ensues: 117 does not know what LSD is.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One: 117 is told that he's misogynistic and borderline racist, but only objects to being called a tacky dresser.
  • It's a Costume Party, I Swear!: Hubert decides to infiltrate the Nazi costume party dressed as Robin Hood. Everyone apart from himself and Dolores is dressed in SS uniform.
  • I Was Never Here: The Mossad agent who explains the mission to 117 says that they're leaving for Tel Aviv, and "Officially, I've never heard of you."
  • It Will Never Catch On: OSS 117 patronizing young hippies.
    OSS 117: It is not 68, go youth!note 
  • Jerkass: Bill Trumendous is one to 117, but 117 doesn't get it.
  • Look Behind You: During the climax, Hubert say to Bill Trumendous that there is a Chinese guy behind him about to shoot him. Bill think it's an attempt to this trope, but unfortunately for him 117 was saying the truth.
  • Low-Speed Chase: 117 wakes up in a hospital, in the same room as the Big Bad Von Zimmel. 117's wounds are more severe than Von Zimmel's, and the latter escapes slowly, using a walker, but 117 still tries to chase him, not being able to run or even walk fast and hampered by his blood transfusion bag (and his butt is naked). Cue the chase music that would be more appropriate in an action scene.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: The luchador henchmen of the villain are certainly up to no good, and they almost always wear a mask.
  • Masked Luchador: The villain is also a South-American wrestling promoter, and has two masked luchadores as henchmen... Nazi masked luchadores!
  • Meaningful Name: Bill Trumendous
  • Monochrome Past: The flashback in which Von Himmel plants the microfilm inside 117's body.
  • Monumental Battle: Atop the "Christ the Redeemer" statue.
  • Nazi Hunter: Dolores is a Mossad agent and she is on the hunt for Von Zimmel.
  • Neutral Female: Dolores does nothing more than shout advice ("Be more aggressive!") during 117's fight with the Blue Devil luchador, but of course it's Rule of Funny as 117 is having a silly wrestling-style fight.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Lampshaded. 117 is relaxing at a party in Gstaad with a bunch of comely Chinese ladies when a squad of Chinese assassins burst into the room to kill him. 117 promptly engages in a gunfight that winds up with him and his girlfriend unscathed, but with all of the assassins and all of the other girls dead. As he stands among a pile of corpses 117 says, "That almost got bad."
  • Not My Driver: The driver who picks 117 up at the Rio airport turns out to be a Chinese assassin seeking revenge for his brother, killed by 117 in Gstaad. Bill Trumendous shows up and shoots the cabbie, saving 117's life.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Heinrich's actual name is Friedrich.
  • A Party, Also Known as an Orgy: OSS 117 ends up getting a taste of hippie free love.
  • Photo Montage: 117's cover in Rio is as a French reporter/photographer, and throughout he's shown snapping pictures. Over the end credits all his photos are shown. They're either horribly composed with the subjects out of frame, or close-ups of women's bosoms, butts, and legs. (A couple of extreme close-ups of Dolores's butt is followed by her giving him an angry frown.)
  • Politically Correct History: Completely averted.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Once again, 117, through a combination of chauvinistic spy fiction tropes, Deliberate Values Dissonance due to the story taking place in The '60s, and his own comical ignorance of any other culture.
  • Pool Scene: The first thing 117 does after checking in to his hotel in Rio is to visit the pool, where a whole crowd of bikini-clad lovelies checks him out. Besides the fanservice, this also sets up his fear of heights when he can't deal with being up on the diving board.
  • Puns: 117 makes a few. In the end, he exchanges puns on the name Lee until his superior tells him that it isn't funny anymore.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Dolores gives a long list of reasons why she's not attracted to 117. He only objects to the "tacky dresser" part.
  • Running Gag: The Chinese assassins trying to kill 117 for killing their brothers in Gstaad. Eventually one kills Bill Trumedous for killing his brother, one of the assassins who tried to kill 117.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: Lampshaded. 117 and his girlfriend start getting busy, so the camera pans away to two birds on the windowsill — and the birds start having sex.
  • Sir Swearsalot: Bill Trumendous, the vulgar CIA agent, is constantly hurling English-language obscenities at a blissfully ignorant 117.
  • Sizable Semitic Nose: Discussed Trope, as 117 assumes that the ex-Nazi will recognize Mossad agents because of their big noses. The Mossad agents that are talking to him boggle at his stupidity, with one of them asking "You're France's best agent?"
  • Slip into Something More Comfortable: Carlotta says this before leaving to the bathroom where she promptly vanishes.
  • Split Screen: Used throughout, often for comedic purpose.
  • Split-Screen Phone Call: Parodied in a scene that winds up with a chain of over a dozen people on the phone and on screen at the same time.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: 117 makes it quite clear that the reason he won't leave the money with the Mossad is not because of all those things they say about Jews and money.
  • Take a Third Option:
    Dolores: They want to make love, not war.
    OSS 117: But both are possible.
  • Take That!: The Historical In-Joke being that, even though De Gaulle isn't considered a dictator by most people, all of these were technically true at the time.
    Dolores: What do you call a country with a military leader controlling everything, a secret police, a single TV channel with every information controlled by the state?
    OSS 117: I call that "France", Miss. "General De Gaulle's France..."
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Naturally, since Brazil Is Nazi Land, 117 is bound to run into them again. This time, they have an evil plan to create a brand-new Reich using Nazi Gold.
  • Translation Convention: Everybody speaks French in Brazil, like Germans when talking to each other, or Brazilian nurses.
  • Uncomfortable Elevator Moment: Hubert walks into a lift with two German assassins intent on killing him, and two Chinese assassins also intent on killing him. He makes racist jokes with the German ones which makes the Chinese ones so angry that they attack the Germans instead. Hubert walks out unscathed.
  • Vertigo Effect: The whole scene is pretty blatantly stolen from Vertigo, in fact.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: 117's fight with the Blue Devil is choreographed as if it were a wrestling match.
  • Writing Indentation Clue: Parodied. 117 tries this with the notepad by Von Himmel's hospital bed, but all he gets is "I" followed by a heart and a swastika.