You know those moments when you’re watching a film, TV show or even just an advertisement (think those old and bizarre Quiznos Subs commercials with the rat-things) and you’re asking yourself what the hell is happening
You know those moments when you’re watching a film, TV show or even just an advertisement (think those old and bizarre Quiznos Subs commercials with the rat-things) and you’re asking yourself what the hell is happening—not because you’re actually confused, but because it is so ridiculous and out-there that your mind almost cannot make sense of it?
Prepare to have plenty of said moments if you subject yourself to the absurdity that is Israeli Intelligence. Tagged as “funnier than Titanic and scarier than Pretty Woman,” the 2010 Faux Film Festival feature successfully spoofs the ridiculous hilarity of American comedies like Airplane! and The Naked Gun.
Primarily—if not only—employing farcical humor, Intelligence stars Israeli actor Ron Shahar as Rami, a Mossad agent who must rescue a kidnapped U.S. ambassador being held in Sugyra. Having just blown a mission because of a “goat incident,” Rami’s boss Hayim decides to assign him a partner—none other than Michal, the daughter of Shuki (a ladies man with a “Shuki wink” and the best Mossad agent of all time). Together, the two agents successfully take down the terrorists (though not as one might expect) and the team celebrates by living the high life at the annual office vacation.
If you’re thinking that the plot sounds a bit ludicrous and cliché to you—you’re right, it is. But that’s the point. Director and co-writer Alon Gur Arye has created an almost-masterpiece that shows audiences the conventional tropes that Hollywood likes to use (like, for example, that action heroes are always ladies men) and just how silly they are.
Sometimes, though—because the film is only 40 minutes long—the unbelievable amount of nonsensical humor is too much. With fight scenes resembling video games, as numbers above the actors appear like they are scoring points for each hit and dodge, I began to be bogged down by too much fake and not even a slice of real.
Regardless, I found very few times in the course of the film that I wasn’t at least smirking, let alone laughing aloud. The funniest part of Intelligence occurs when (spoiler alert) the U.S. ambassador’s daughter is revealed as a traitor and is about to attack Rami.
A subtitle flashes on the screen for half a second that reads, “Now I’ll kill you, you stinking agent, your mom’s a bitch and I’ve heard the same stuff about your sister. Anyone who’s read so far should punch the person sitting on his left, and then go to the kitchen to check if I’m there.” (Thankfully there was no one sitting on my left, and alas, she was not in the kitchen.)
It isn’t a surprise that Intelligence has developed a cult following in Israel. The award-winning film—it is important to note that it is a spoof of a spoof of police and action thrillers, and that can cause some confusion—is indeed witty and brilliant at doing what it is supposed to do.
While it isn’t the kind of film that will force you to think about difficult issues, it also isn’t the kind that is so dumb that you can’t have an intelligent conversation about it. The acting is spot on (I wonder if they don’t have better actors than we do), and the film almost watches like a Monty Python sketch.
For those that are new to the spoof scene, take care to not go in expecting something serious, because you will be immediately disappointed, as there is nothing even remotely serious about Israeli Intelligence—and that is what makes it so fantastic.