Women have been MI.6. agent Andy Osnard's weakness. As punishment for being caught sleeping with the wrong woman on his last posting in Spain, Andy is relegated to the global backwater of Panama as his next field assignment. Although nothing is happening there on the surface, Panama is still seen as having global importance due to the canal, with something always possible to rock the boat as seen by the recent history of the corrupt regime of Manuel Noriega. The advice of his superior is to co-opt one of the only few hundred British nationals living there to act as an informant for pay. Who Andy chooses is Harry Pendel, a men's suits tailor with Savile Row credentials through his now deceased business partner Arthur Braithwaite. This choice is because of Harry's client list, he the tailor to the elite and powerful, including the Panamanian president, who may treat him like the proverbial "bartender" or "hairdresser" confidante, and because his American wife, Louisa, works in a senior ...Written by
If you understand irony, this film should be a real riotous laugh straight through. It is possibly one of the most brilliant movies so far this millennium, outright disrespectful of the "spy" theme: Brosnan's degenerated, decadent b*****d spy Osnard is just the way one would picture James Bond in real life, had the latter not been so awfully loyal. Actually, Osnard is James Bond minus loyalty and with his self-confidence, decadence and sexism turned up a couple of notches. A brilliant character, brilliantly acted. Another fantastic actor is the amazing Geoffrey Rush in the role as the Tailor of Panama, Harry Pendel.
The story is absolutely fascinating, one of the most clever and witty stories to emerge in a long while - the Tailor of Panama reluctantly becomes a spy and conjures up non-existent government plots to sell the Panama Canal to the Chinese, which makes the English and the Americans (portrayed as a bunch of idiots with delusions of grandeur and as militaristic blow-hards with victory as the only goal) react aggressively.
It is important that one understands that this film is serious in one respect only: its comedy. Don't see this expecting to see a thrilling spy-movie. It isn't, though I find the scope of the film thrilling. It's more of a comedy, and if you can't see that when the American general with tears in his eyes blurts: "There is a star missing from the American flag!", then you're not really equipped for this kind of film. The reason I'm writing this is that some reviewers have found the movie to be silly... which is just what one would think if one didn't get it.
Brilliant. Just brilliant.
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