Dave and Rachel's movie reviews.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Austin Powers

Year: 1997 (International Man of Mystery (IMoM)), 1999 (The Spy Who Shagged Me (SWSM)), 2002 (Goldmember (GM))
Running time: 94 minutes (IMoM, GM), 95 minutes (SWSM)
Certificate: 15 (IMoM), 12 (SWSM, GM)
Language: English
Screenplay: Mike Myers (IMoM, SWSM, GM), Michael McCullers (SWSM, GM)
Director: Jay Roach
Starring: Mike Myers, Seth Green, Michael York, Robert Wagner, Mindy Sterling, Elizabeth Hurley, Mimi Rogers, Fabiana Udenio, Paul Dillon, Will Ferrell, Heather Graham, Rob Lowe, Verne Troyer, Beyoncé Knowles, Michael Caine, Fred Savage

Powers gets into a spot of bother.
For Mike Myers, the Saturday Night Live graduate behind Wayne’s World and its sequel, the Austin Powers movies are likely going to be remembered as his high water mark. With a joke hit-rate that is so high, it’s in the realm of The Naked Gun and Airplane for sheer the-next-joke's-already-on-the-way-before-this-one-lands comedy, which is something very few comedies actually manage. Myers, however, has now done it a total of five times with only two ideas – Wayne Campbell and Austin Powers.

Austin Powers (Mike Myers) is an English James Bond-spoofing super-spy in the 1960s who, when not chasing his nemesis Blofeld-alike Dr. Evil (Mike Myers, again), is, basically shagging and grooving his way through the decade of, like, free love, man.

Dr Evil & co: Team Scene Stealers.
Cryogenic freezing and other gimmickry allows Myers to send his creation and his super-villain other half to various time periods, allowing him to create running jokes not only around time-periods, but around his characters' attempts to grasp the differences between these time periods and their own.

Although Austin's name is on the titles, it is undoubtedly Dr. Evil and his cronies that reign supreme in the laughter stakes; lines are so random, but so perfectly executed that you can find yourself almost hyperventilating with laughter without really being sure why. The relationship between Dr. Evil and his son Scott (Seth Green) frequently mines comedy gold, and even skits involving now outdated things, like a spot on Jerry Springer are outstanding ("The world is mine, the world is mine you f**kers!").

Austin with his dad: "Shat on a turtle!"
The Austin Powers movies are a very rare breed indeed, in that they don't less get funny as they go on – the original is great, but the sequel is every bit as funny, and even outdoes it occasionally, and the trilogy climax Goldmember (“He’s got the Midas touch, but he touched it too much”) is full of inspired moments. Myers adds new characters each time to maintain interest, playing many of them himself (Fat Bastard and Goldmember are both played by Myers, as well as the two main characters), but the best additions are probably Mini-me (Verne Troyer), and the casting of Michael Caine as Austin's father is simply perfect casting.

The Austin Powers movies will not only cheer you up if you’re down, but may even make you cry with laughter.

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery: 8/10
Austin Powers: The Spy who Shagged Me: 8/10
Austin Powers: Goldmember: 8/10

Cinemablend.com seem to agree on the first 2 movies but would say I overrate the third one; see these reviews of the first film by Nate and the second and third by Joshua.