Straight-faced nonsense “Bullit and Riper” is a Zucker Bros.-style comedy starring middle-aged Gallic comedians Kad and Olivier instead of Leslie Nielsen. Monumentally peculiar French-lingo venture, in which two FBI agents investigate a stripper’s death, is set in the U.S. and sends up conventions of cliche-ridden cop shows, mismatched buddy pictures and American-style entertainment in general. Commercial prospects beyond French-lingo territories look iffy, and depend on whether translators can render the watered-down “Naked Gun” aesthetic in local tongues.
After hip but misguided Richard Bullit (co-scripter Kad) sees his partner end up in a coma, he’s paired with suave but equally clueless Riper (co-scripter Olivier), whose FBI career has been entirely in the classroom. Wary duo steps on the proud toes of Sheriff Marley (Jean-Paul Rouve) and Phil Canon (Gerard Darmon), a Howard Stern-like DJ. Props are authentically American and tech aspects are pro, right down to the bad TV drama score. Local auds have been rolling in the aisles at the literal gags, guest appearances by Gallic stars and even the plentiful dead air between low-key bursts of deadpan humor. Both leads have been playing similar characters on TV for years.