The Shagmeister is back... and in a big way.The first Austin Powers movie, International Man of Mystery, grossed $57 million at the box office and did just-as-smashing business at the video stores. Back then, the premise was your basic ancient- period- character- trying- to- adjust- to- modern- day- society story, with the campiest of the sixties pop culture and a soft-hearted ribbing of the swingin' spy flicks of its time thrown in.
"Awesome, baby! (Wait. That's Dick Vitale, not Austin Powers.)"
Here, the writers have to throw something extra in the mix. And boy do they ever. We join Austin (Mike "Look at my teeth" Myers) as he's celebrating his honeymoon with his romantic lead from the last film, Liz Hurley, who is disposed of before the opening credits even start.
Meanwhile, Dr. Evil (Mike Myers' other role), Austin's main enemy, builds a time machine to take him back to 1969, and takes with him a miniature clone of himself, "Mini-Me" (Verne Troyer). He sends a henchman, the scottish Fat Bastard (Myers yet again), to infiltrate the cryogenics lab where Austin was frozen and steal his "mojo". Convinced that Austin is powerless, Dr. Evil concocts a new evil scheme: to build a powerful laser on the moon and vaporize Washington D.C. with it.
Back in 1999, Austin, upon realizing he's been emasculated, follows Dr. Evil back in time in his own time machine, a modified New Beetle. (And no, there's no references to Back to the Future.) There, he is joined by Felicity Shagwell (Heather "Rollergirl" Graham), a CIA operative who's almost as libidinous as Austin himself.
The action goes from 1999 London, to 1969 London, to a remote island serving as Dr. Evil's headquarters, all the way up to the moon and back. Joining the fray is Kristen Johnston as model/spy Ivana Humpalot, Seth Green returning as Dr. Evil's son Scott, Rob Lowe as the 1969-era Number Two, and cameos by Willie Nelson, Woody Harrelson, Jerry Springer, Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello.
The gags here, surprise surprise, are mostly of the promiscuous and bodily-function sort. For those of you who wish that Austin Powers would just eat shit and die, rest assured he does one of the two in the film. Product placement abounds here as well; for instance, we learn that it is Dr. Evil himself who is running Starbucks. (I knew there was an evil motive behind Starfucks' conquering all the shopping centers in metropolitan America.)
And there's lots of repeat performances of International Man's gags. But then, that's what happened with the late-sixties spy film genre that the Austin movies spoof, anyway. So I guess it's only fitting that we get more gratuitous smirking, more fey posturing, and more variations on Dr. Evil's "zip-it!" remark. (My fave in this film: "When a problem comes along, you must zip-it! Zip-it good!")
For those of you who like the standard Saturday-Night-Live-alumnus-type-jokes fare, The Spy Who Shagged Me will be just as funny as the original, if not more so. If you hate Mike Myers, well, this film won't change how you feel about him.But at any rate, the new Austin Powers film is a swingingly good time at the movies. By the way, don't miss what goes on during the closing credits.
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originally posted: 06/14/99 08:32:44