Review: Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (Don HARLOW)

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

Movie by Mike MYERS and Michael McCULLERS

reviewed by Don HARLOW

   I understand why Mike Myers made this movie: for the money. What I don't understand is why anybody went to see it. Including me.

   I never saw the original Austin Powers, (1) but I gather that he won and wed the beauteous Vanessa at the end. This movie starts out on the morning after, when Powers discovers that Vanessa is really a "fembot", with twin Gatling guns mounted right where you wouldn't expect him to overlook them on the wedding night. She gets blown up in short order, and Austin Powers is on the loose again. It's a pity.

   Meanwhile, Dr. Evil (also played by Myers), who was apparently put into cryogenic suspension in some sort of space capsule, has been thawed out and is back, looking like an incredibly idiotic version of Ernst Stavro Blofeldt. He invents a time machine and, with an obnoxious two-foot clone he calls "Mini-Me" (played by Verne Troyer, not Myers), returns to the sixties to have his five-hundred-pound minion Fat Bastard (also played by Myers) steal Powers' "mojo" (I leave it to your imagination to figure out what this will do to the unfortunate and now misnamed Powers), put a super-powerful laser on the moon, and ransom Washington DC for a hundred billion dollars, an amount that the then-president of the United States has difficulty imagining. Meanwhile, so to speak, Powers is sent back to the 1960s to recover his Mojo, romance beautiful CIA agent Felicity Shagwell, (2) and thwart Dr. Evil's vile plans in a series of scenes that are eerily (and deliberately, I am sure) reminiscent of the James Bond film You Only Live Twice, though Mie Hama is sadly missing...

   Unfortunately, most of the laughs in this presumably comic film derive from overplayed toilet humor, which few over the age of fifteen will find terribly amusing, unless there is something seriously wrong with civilization as we know it. Furthermore, pacing is pretty bad, at least in the early part of the film, and I almost fell asleep.

   It does have a couple of good moments -- I particularly liked the Jerry Springer show in which Dr. Evil is brought back to meet his son, Scott Evil, and duke it out with a bunch of other Evildoers, including a neo-Nazi _offizier_ and a Klan Wizard (whose hood gets pulled off in the brouhaha, to reveal...). Unfortunately, they don't make up for a generally puerile and annoying movie.

   Note this movie is rated PG-13. Why do we bother with a ratings system, anyway?


(1) Some may say that I "missed" the first Austin Powers movie. After seeing this one, I am fairly sure that I didn't miss it at all.
(2) Felicity was obviously inspired by such great Bond heroines as Pussy Galore and Dr. Holly Goodhead. There is a Russian damoselle -- another minion of Evil -- named Ivana Humpalot, whose progenitor is apparently the GoldenEye villainess Xenia Onatopp.

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