00-2 Most Secret Agents / 002 agenti segretissimi (1964)

2.0 out of 5

It is frustrating how Franco and Ciccio are able to entertain and simultaneously annoy so much within the same feature and 002 agenti segretissimi is a fine example of this phenomenon as some wonderfully timed comic pieces are neutralised by the infantile gurning and hollering of Franco Franchi. The pairing are at times simply far too bombastic in this early 1960s Lucio Fulci comedy.

002 agenti segretissimi at it's best is hilarious and a sequence with a control panel of unlabeled switches in a hotel is comedy genius as the idiotic duo attempt to switch on lights or open the blinds resulting in much mistaken switch mirth.

As a time capsule piece many ideas are, just as with the Cold War premise, outdated and playing to not too funny ethnic stereotyping but, even while providing the film with a limited pass on the account of it being "of it's time", the greatest pity of all is that there wasn't far more use made of locations in this Riviera set comedy and it dwells too much in uninspiring studio interiors.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics