Rated PG-13 for nudity, sex-related dialogue and humor.
Directed By: Jay Roach
Written By: Mike Myers
Staring: Mike Myers, Elizabeth Hurley, Michael York, Mimi Rogers, Seth Green, Will Ferrell, Robert Wagner, Mindy Sterling, Fabiana Undenio, Carrie Fisher, Tom Arnold, Michael McDonald, and Clint Howard
The details of my life are quite inconsequential… very well, where do I begin? My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a fifteen year old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize, he would drink. He would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Sometimes he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament. My childhood was typical. Summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring we’d make meat helmets. When I was insolent I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds- pretty standard really. At the age of twelve I received my first scribe. At the age of fourteen a Zoroastrian named Vilma ritualistically shaved my testicles. There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum… it’s breathtaking- I highly suggest you try it. -Dr. Evil
From the first scene where you see the “From Russia With Love” spoof with Dr. Evil, Mr. Bigglesworth, the murder of his employee’s and the plot to destroy a secret agent this movie pretty much either has you or doesn’t. Though the Bond and other British comedy and spy satires are prevalent and add to the enjoyment of Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery, it is not necessary to have seen them to enjoy the humor of the film. It takes what was once revered in the 60′s and laughing at it’s dated ideals by placing it into the present time, but with a very affectionate tone. It’s witty play on the films of old and the comedic relevance it plays into nowadays is a tricky balance but Jay Roach and Mike Myers make it seem easy.
Our “bad guy” Dr. Evil (better call him Dr., he didn’t go to 8 years of evil medical school to be called Mr.) is a product of a plethora of sixties British villains, and like “From Russia With Love” refers to his second hand man as #2, along with having a pet cat he strokes affectionately while plotting evil world domination. In this case that means taking out the Sex Icon, secret agent Austin Powers. However, neither are quite as smooth as these typecasts are in the action/drama genre and both seem to bumble as their fates send them each to the future. Upon the unfreezing process Dr.Evil’s cat has lost it’s hair and he finds he has a genetically engineered son that is the product of 90′s flannel wear. Powers awakes to his old partners daughter and goes through his own awkwardtransition into the 90′s. While the times have changed, one thing remains the same, Dr. Evil wants Austin Powers dead, and Austin Powers wants to capture Dr. Evil.
The greatest aspect of Austin Powers other than the exceptional dialogue is the basic insanity of the characters. Each and every one is fun or funny. Dr. Evil is just as amusing as Austin Powers, and his #2 and #3 are just as laughable as any other character. Their whimsical behavior may be absurd, but the delivery of the actors and the brilliant writing makes it all work. While this is truly a talented cast and crew of comedy it is without question the genius and the talents of Mike Myers that is the driving force of Austin Powers. His sense of ludicrous, yet sweet, humor is in every line and every point of the plot. It’s almost as though he made the film just to entertain himself. This level of personal tomfoolery makes the audience feel as though he’s letting you in on his own inside joke which really adds to the overall feel of the film. As far as I’m concerned I’ll never get tired of Mike Myers letting us in on his inside jokes.
There are so many moments that have the technical attention of skits, and no doubt his work on SNL has this affect. Where a lot of great comedic actors that have stemmed from SNL have failed over the years is forgetting what made them, and what sold their comedy and the attraction to them in the first place. Myers never lost that insight through the Wayne’s World films or the AustinPower’s Trilogy. It’s skit after skit that actually follows a plot that connects each ridiculous scene together.
The bright colors and meshing of Dr. Evil and Powers reacting to the 90′s is what really drives the story. From Burt Bacharach to Scott Evil, the integration of relationships and understanding of the decades of change is what adds the original twist on the spoof of a movie. The play on words, such asAlotta Fagina, and “Who does #2 work for?” or “They’re always after my lucky charms” somehow makes for gut busting laughter. Mustafa’s hundred deaths will have you laughing till tears. The brilliance of the movie is how many overwhelming moments of laughter there actually are. You have to watch it at least five or six times to catch all the jokes you missed while laughing before.
The last scene with the naked Vanessa and Austin cleverly being covered by stationary objects in the room is one of the greatest moments in comedy to date. There is so much good about this movie there isn’t enough words and time without just reciting it from beginning to end to really convey how much fun it is. You’ll find sweetness in Austin and hysterically devious comedy in Dr. Evil, and what you will get consistently is a smart movie that makes you laugh uncontrollably. Without question Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery is one of my favorite comedies of all time.