Les Tribulations D'Un Chinois En Chine (1965)

Genres - Adventure  |   Sub-Genres - Adventure Comedy, Romantic Adventure  |   Run Time - 104 min.  |   Countries - France , Italy   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Philippe de Broca's Up to His Ears is a charmingly slapdash action comedy. Despite the film's decidedly thrown-together feel, it's genuinely exciting and funny. De Broca starts his film with Arthur (the redoubtable Jean-Paul Belmondo) very symbolically cutting the brake line on his car. The director is doing the same thing, throwing caution to the wind and ramping the action up to a breakneck pace. Up to His Ears is engaging, though never convincing. Any semblance of sanity -- or even continuity -- is amusingly tossed aside as Arthur deals with duplicitous friends and would-be in-laws, his bumbling valet (Jean Rochefort as Leon), dangerously incompetent insurance men, and a volatile Ursula Andress running on the beach in a white bra and panties. There are a few thrilling comic set pieces as Arthur and Leon traverse the globe, including a sequence where our heroes dangle from a hot air balloon over the Himalayas, a spectacular Hong Kong car crash leading to a chase on a rolling bed, and another scene in which Belmondo and Andress appear to leap from one plane to another in mid-flight. There's an element of satire in the convenient way Belmondo stumbles and crashes his way out of impossible scrapes without ever (well, hardly ever) messing up his hair or clothes. The whole thing zips along with an infectiously insouciant air.