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Tony Parker's very foreign commercial for Renault

To escape the summer heat, Tony Parker eschews the charms of the south of France in lieu of an even more exotic locale: Jungle Town. Is this mysterious world the remains of a post-apocalyptic city? Is it an unobtanium-powered green civilization on the surface of Pandora? Unfortunately, this commercial offers more questions than answers.

Hot on the heels of Matt Bonner's baby carrot ads is this new commercial for French car manufacturer Renault, starring the Spurs' playmaker. It's part-Elysium, part-Rubber, with a bit of a Space Jam-like comeback story sprinkled in.

The ad begins with an introduction to the accomplished PG, who's decided to walk away from the game he loves. Notice the way the narrator says, "He won everything. He did everything." Wow, this guy's got million dollar vocal chords. I could easily imagine someone who knew nothing about the NBA seeing this spot and believing that Michael Jordan wishes he had been as good as Tony Parker. The run-down of Parker's accolades kinda sorta resembles similar scenes from Zoolander and Iron Man, though I'm not entirely familiar with the publication Basket or its apparent off-shoot, So Basket.

Ready for a new start, Tony decides to head out for an afternoon drive, leaving behind his post-modernist house and one deeply neglected, sentient basketball. Instead of dropping a bit of Premier Love as he starts his Koleos, we're treated to a song that might seem better suited to a mid-1990s Schlitterbahn ad. I couldn't quite make out the lyrics, but they briefly left me with the intense desire to assassinate a public official.

The French SUV, equipped with Blind Spot Warning, Rear Camera, and Hill Start Assist functionality, allows Tony to navigate the rugged urban landscape of Jungle Town with ease. The city, skyscrapers dripping with lush overgrowth, looks like an environment straight out of a Minecraft-inspired fever dream. Watch Tony lean into the turn as he drives. See the look of grim determination mixed with the joy that comes from driving a well-made automobile.

The real star of the ad, however, is the basketball, which sports the sexy curves of luxury Italian basketballs, hugs corners like a German sports basketball, and boasts the technological smarts of Japanese concept balls. It uses these capabilities to pursue the Frenchman in a dangerously coy game of cat and mouse, which ends, not surprisingly, at a basketball court.

At first, Tony appears confused - perhaps by the dated trapezoid key area (internationally rectangular now since 2010), or by the fact that his Renault's GPS took him to the last place he was seemingly wanting to go in his post-retirement years. Either way, the wrong turn proves serendipitous as, upon being reunited with his round, bouncy acquaintance, and suddenly without his jacket, Tony drains an 18-footer and seems to decide to return to the game he loves, though it's uncertain if he'll be playing for the Spurs or Jungle Town's expansion team (go Jaguars).

If you have any questions about the product (and why wouldn't you?) you can learn more about Destination Jungle Town by visiting the official website -- where you can learn that the vehicle has been designed to be savagely elegant -- if you speak French or Mandarin. Of course, the spot ends with the amazingly-expensive-voiced narrator uttering the tagline "Wildly Sophisticated" but if you'll notice he pitches the final note of the last word up, instead of dropping it down as he would for an American audience. Listen carefully and you'll hear a bit of -- what can I call it besides -- snootiness, as it creeps into the phrase.

This is what happens when you get a British narrator for a French car ad featuring a Belgian-born star who lives and works in America. Nothing's as simple as it should be and ads that are meant for one audience get found out and dissected by snarky websites an ocean away. Ah well, such are the problems of automobile manufacturers in this day and age. C'est la vie.

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