New film, “Halal Five-O,” opens in France

New Agencies – February 23, 2011

Revealing a side of France that’s seldom depicted in homegrown commercial movies, the couscous cop caper Halal Five-O (Halal, police d’Etat) will likely be remembered as a cultural studies artifact rather than as a successful comedy. Written by and starring Eric Judor and Ramzy Bedia the script showcases the team’s sketch comedy roots by going from one outré gag to another, using anything from a slice of ham to a talking extraterrestrial in order to draw a laugh. Yet such laughs are few and far between, though the writers and first-time director Rachid Dhibou deserve some credit for using humor as a means to attack racial stereotypes prevalent in France today.

Traveling from Algeria to Paris to investigate the murder of one of their diplomats, the flamboyant Inspector Nerh-Nerh (Bedia) and his paranoid sidekick, Le Kabyle (Judor), find themselves competing against a tough commissaire and two detectives in a race to catch the killer.