Jean Dujardin does seem as a perfect French Bond, especially for the Connery type of character. Dujardin just has that look about that says international secret agent the moment you look at him. Dujardin is such an exceedingly charming performer here with that smile of his that's just perfect to say the least. Dujardin frankly makes suaveness look so easy as he carries himself with that secret agent cool to such a degree. His whole manner is just right that Dujardin makes the OSS 117 seemingly quite cool although this is part of what makes his performance work so well here. The thing is OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies is less like Goldfinger or Dr. No, and much more akin to Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. His intent is also much closer to Mike Myers's performance from that film than it is Connery's from the Bond, but the great thing is, unlike Myers, Dujardin definitely has the look down.
As he proved later on even more successfully in his international breakout work in The Artist Dujardin is a master physical performer. The collaboration between director Michel Hazanavicius and Dujardin really could not be more perfect. Where Hazanavicius is so consummate in terms of recapturing the visual styles of old, Dujardin is equally so, if not perhaps more so, in capturing the performance style of old. Although yes Connery's performances had a different less absurdest intent, Dujardin is fantastic in the way though he just brings about the essence of that work. The physical movements just have this certain rhythm about them, and there is just something how he maneuvers within the camera just so brilliantly captures the way suaveness was portrayed back in the 60's. It's amazing how Dujardin is able to accomplish this and really I'd love to see him tackle on another style of performance in the future.
The thing is OSS 117 is not exactly a great spy, although he somehow manages to get the job. He's a bit of an idiot to say the least although not exactly quite in a normal way. I mean he does kinda seem to have spy abilities. This is a great combination by Dujardin here because he probably could play a more serious version of the character we not too many tweaks. This is particularly great early on when you see kinda the cracks in his character and its almost a bit hard to notice them at first because Dujardin almost always carries himself with that same confidence you'd expect from a Bond like character. He delivers his lines often with a great assurance that this is a slick costumer who knows exactly what it is that he's doing. This causes it to be particularly funny when he slips up such as showing his obvious lack of knowledge when it comes to dealing with the assignment he is on, or even something rather simple like thinking that Egypt still would have a pharaoh in the 20th century.
OSS 117 isn't just an idiot but he's more than just a little bit of a jerk to. He has a constant disregard for any foreign society or religion and seems to specifically avoid attempting to learn or appreciate anything about it. In addition to that he even forgets his supposed friend that he believes he is avenging in his current mission, while harboring thoughts about his friend that seem a little too strong so to speak, although OSS 117 would vehemently deny any such accusations about his sexuality. On top of all that OSS 117 does not even mind punching out a woman or two if they were to get in his way. The thing Dujardin is absolutely hilarious in depicting all of this since he shows that his behavior barely even seems to phase him. What is so great about Dujardin's performance, and what really makes it so successful at being comedic is that he almost always somehow stays very charismatic and still feels like a James Bond type.
Dujardin consistently brings out the humor out of every situation where it his through the way he so sincerely plays the brazen stupidity in OSS 117's words, but also makes so many of his action scenes comedic gold just by the way he performs them. I have to say I particularly enjoyed the scene where he takes down all the men in the message parlor, there's just something especially funny about the way Dujardin does it. This is just a very entertaining performance by Dujardin and it is something special as broadly comic performances go. Dujardin goes the extra distance with his work as he pretty much doing something to entertain every second he's on screen. Although this is certainly a technical achievement so to speak in his great replication of a certain type of performance, but most of all this is just a really fun performance to watch.