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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 28.47%
Average: 13.89%
Pretty Bad: 8.33%
Total Crap: 4.17%

7 reviews, 102 user ratings

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Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Rob Gonsalves

"Remember how cool it was when you first saw it?"
5 stars

The peak James Bond movies -- say, any of the original Sean Connery entries, and maybe the first two Roger Moores -- couldn't have been made in any other period except the mod '60s and groovy early '70s.

There were two British invasions, the Beatles and Bond, and America went daft for a while. Our culture reflected it, and the Bond movies, ever more gaudy and excessive, were decadence on a grand scale. But the spy genre after Vietnam -- even the drum-tight GoldenEye -- seemed glumly realistic, with largely colorless villains and almost no sex.

Austin Powers, the goofy-deadpan parody written by and starring Mike Myers (Wayne's World), takes a page from GoldenEye and asks what might happen if a smug, womanizing secret agent from the '60s were transplanted to the politically correct '90s. In GoldenEye, Bond was all too regretfully aware of the shifts in sexual politics; Austin Powers, frozen in 1967 and revived in 1997, remains blissfully ignorant. "Am I making you randy, baby?" he asks a potential conquest, imagining himself to be irresistible. As, in a sense, he is. He's so cheerfully retro-sexist he's almost a breath of fresh air.

The movie is Mike Myers' valentine to the Bond films and '60s Brit culture in general. The costume designers must have had fun; this and Romy and Michele's High School Reunion may spark a new trend in form-hugging leather. Myers has more or less duplicated a typical espionage plot: the Blofeldian villain Dr. Evil (also played by Myers) steals a nuclear weapon and holds the world hostage for $100 billion. The joke is that Dr. Evil, who'd also been on ice for the last thirty years, was originally going to demand $1 million -- big bucks in 1967.

You don't necessarily have to be familiar with the movies Myers spoofs in order to enjoy Austin Powers, though it helps. What I enjoyed more than the specific parodies was the spirit behind them. Myers is reviving a style and sensibility that have been frozen since, well, about 1967; when Austin Powers emerges into 1997, he brings his era with him. This allows a few culture-clash jokes, such as Dr. Evil attending group therapy with his genetically-engineered offspring (the cynically funny Seth Green). At the end of this scene, Dr. Evil launches into a childhood reminiscence that gets increasingly bizarre; it sounds like classic Myers.

Elizabeth Hurley also turns up as a second-generation agent who eventually climbs into an Emma Peel get-up, just like her mom (Mimi Rogers), who was Austin's partner thirty years ago. Hurley is about the right age to be the result of a forgotten "shag" between Austin and his partner; Myers never plants this reverse-Oedipal revelation, though I expected it.

Much of 'Austin Powers' could have been lifted from Roger Ebert's book of clichés; Ebert probably loved such touches as Dr. Evil insisting on putting Austin in an elaborate death trap that doesn't work. Mike Myers is slowly carving himself a niche as the next Steve Martin (whose early comedies resemble Myers'). He's an eager postmodern prankster -- a Jim Carrey who can also write, and a Quentin Tarantino who can also act.

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originally posted: 01/22/07 08:49:43
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Trilogy Starters: For more in the Trilogy Starters series, click here.

User Comments

9/25/12 roscoe decent entertainment, but not all there. the sequels are better and funnier. 3 stars
3/02/08 Pamela White comical innuendos and spoofs 5 stars
2/08/08 Anthony Feor Still the best one. It is so origional and doesn't go for the 1930's slapstick comedy crap. 5 stars
4/24/07 David Risser Funny entertaing, and very good. 5 stars
2/16/07 Vip Ebriega Really one of the funniest films I've seen by far. 4 stars
1/31/07 Albert Stone the novelty started to wear off in the last two Powers films, but this one is superb. 5 stars
1/17/07 Matt As funny as nuclear war...utter, total CRAP. 1 stars
5/11/06 Agent Sands Clever. Wayne's World is a little better... 4 stars
6/26/05 bobby I loved the casino part and the steemroller part. it was exellent. 5 stars
6/24/05 tony Best Austin Powers ever! The funniest one! i think so 5 stars
5/18/05 Pippin007 Humorus. The story is OK 4 stars
4/20/05 Indrid Cold A clever idea, but the laughs are few and far-between. 3 stars
10/30/04 Scott Roen this is good if you just want silly nonsense 3 stars
10/29/04 ODH I want sharks with laser beams on their head, I figure every creature deserves a warm meal! 5 stars
10/29/04 Theresa Wagner Its worth seeing just because it is so cheesy..some good laughs though 4 stars
10/24/04 MG i laughed, ALOT!!! 4 stars
9/10/04 jeff not as good as goldmember but still funny as hell 5 stars
8/07/04 Anthony G good times 4 stars
5/31/04 John it's just one hell of a great concept - pity it isn't all that funny 3 stars
5/02/04 J A outragesly funny!!! *** 4 stars
2/29/04 Littlepurch Not as good as Goldmember but MUCH better than part 2. Hurley was actually pretty good! 5 stars
1/27/04 Chloe Brody Groo-vae Bayb-ae!!! 5 stars
10/14/03 Jareth Fuck Wayne's World. Austin Powers was the role Mike Myers was born to play. 4 stars
9/18/03 Samuel Justus Why didnt they make a 'Waynes World 3' ?? oh why... 4 stars
3/04/03 Jack Sommersby Myers is sensational in this mostly uproarious comedy. Inventive and fun. 4 stars
1/21/03 Dave Hilarious movie, far superior to its sequals. 5 stars
12/31/02 John Aster Habig the best of the trilogy because it had heart and its humor was more tasteful 5 stars
10/14/02 chris very funny 4 stars
7/24/02 STEVE THIS MOVIE AND ITS 2 SEQUALS ARE SHAGY BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
7/13/02 Chris I Laughed My Ass Off. 4 stars
6/21/02 H Thomas One of the Greats! 5 stars
6/09/02 NWO4LIFE Overrated, but funny enough. Dr. Evil is a gem. 3 stars
3/02/02 Alan Smithee Not as consistently funny as the sequel. Liz Hurley is easy on the eyes though. 3 stars
3/01/02 Chowie Yeah Baby Yeah 5 stars
11/23/01 J.E.E This is better than the 2nd one why? Cause it has nudity and those naked girl are hot 5 stars
11/12/01 R.W. Welch Totally off-the-wall 007 spy spoof; mostly pretty clever stuff. 4 stars
10/31/01 Andrew Carden Can Anymore Say Cult Classic? 5 stars
9/06/01 spaceworm Cute? Yes. Funny? If you say so... 3 stars
9/04/01 Butterbean A classic character! 5 stars
8/21/01 Daft Arse 3000AD IF AUSTIN POWERS DOES NOT MAKE U LAUGH, donate your bone to the dog's home! 5 stars
8/07/01 Mr. Hat (formerly Joe Zappa) Funny, clever spoof of those show off spies. Never flip into a convertible!! 4 stars
7/28/01 Henry Ginsberg Shall we shag now ,or shall we shag later . 5 stars
3/06/01 ivan yunanato great 5 stars
2/06/01 Classicdog Funny flick!!! Myers is a comic genius. 4 stars
11/28/00 Cristopher Revilla That was a pretty fucked up show, even horny teenagers will be disapointed and disgusted 2 stars
11/13/00 The EVIL Penguin They will ruin your intelligence 2 stars
11/04/00 TruckGirl rockin! I'll watch this one again and again! 5 stars
5/30/00 perverted pixie Myers is a comic/surrealist virtuoso! And the sequel is even more groovey! 5 stars
5/29/00 Cooke Mike Myers is hilarious. 5 stars
3/10/00 Kyle Broflovski Pop culture is still reeling from the blow. :-) 4 stars
3/07/00 J. Alán Blankenship One of the funniest movies of all time... 5 stars
2/07/00 Gary Durso Dr Evil is hilarious 4 stars
11/28/99 Krissy I don't see what was so amazing It was unique but not in a good way 2 stars
8/27/99 Bornslippy One film that constantly grows on you, very funny, very original, thank you Mike! 5 stars
8/23/99 Will Handley I rape sheep 5 stars
7/25/99 blue i would rather be anally raped by a 600lb black guy instead of sitting through this again 1 stars
7/24/99 Hagbard Celine I don't understand the appeal. Gay porno is funnier. 2 stars
7/03/99 Daria I just think it could be a lot more funnier than that. 3 stars
6/14/99 Dylan Great fucking movie baby. 4 stars
5/24/99 Alex Mike Myers is so excellent in this shaggadellic movie. Schwiing !!!! 5 stars
5/08/99 Tim Mike Myers is hilarious and Hurley looks awesome 5 stars
4/23/99 J funny with some good one-liners. 5 stars
4/11/99 Alonzo ( This movie had liz hurley and mimi rogers, not to mention it was hilarious 5 stars
3/27/99 Technorama 007 meets Mission: Impossible on laughing gas 5 stars
3/24/99 Brian This is the greatest comedy ever. 5 stars
3/18/99 Max Bernstein Hey pussycat, dig it. 5 stars
3/18/99 Madcap Dr. Evil was hilarious, Austin was nauseatingly obnoxious 3 stars
3/17/99 Ah Dooey Rock on! 5 stars
3/12/99 Claude Serralt Great Film! 5 stars
2/19/99 nun uf yur businness I only have one word to describe Mike Myers: AWESOME!! 5 stars
2/09/99 Gary Jerry Lewis movies are 10X funnier and they suck. Maybe I missed something. 1 stars
2/01/99 Vick Di Brecci Character is funnier than the movie. Some good lines though & a great Tom Arnold (!) cameo 3 stars
1/29/99 Scott Stipe BEST Spy movie EVEr, can't wait for '99's sequel 5 stars
1/24/99 Hannah Even gets better with age. 5 stars
1/23/99 C Dub 1 million dollars... 100 million dollars! 5 stars
1/03/99 Jules Meyers is great. Movie is not. 3 stars
12/09/98 Pat Flanagan I laughed....a lot. It was an extremely funny movie. 5 stars
11/27/98 Mr.Pink I saw this movie on the day my boyfriend broke up with me and I still laughed my ass off!!! 5 stars
11/25/98 Fred Funny as hell. Hurley is beautiful. Hugh Grant should be shot. 5 stars
11/09/98 Mikey I love this movie, cant wait for Austin Powers 2 5 stars
11/02/98 MR HOLLYWOOD !! Really,really silly at times....but nudity is a crack-up, YEAH BABEE !! 4 stars
10/27/98 Silent Rob A film by/for people who love films. More winks than a Alabama soda machine! 5 stars
10/23/98 Negative Creep Its Shag-a-delic! Seems Retarded at first sight, but you must go deeper than that 5 stars
10/01/98 Paul Maki This movie is switched on it's Smashing Baby! 5 stars
9/28/98 Heather Has potential to be the next Rocky Horror Picture Show...maybe. 5 stars
9/24/98 Jeff Hayward Terrible. This is about as entertaining as Laugh In. Hate it. 1 stars
9/24/98 katherine funny, but gross at times. 4 stars
9/17/98 cheryl_ann even if it hadn't been way over-hyped, i still would've hated it. 1 stars
9/14/98 Chip Taylor Funniest movie of 1997! Myer's best. Must see sequel. 6 stars. 5 stars
9/06/98 Kid Pee-Pee I guess I'm alone on this. Hated every minute. 1 stars
9/04/98 Badass Funny. Mike and Seth are histerical. 4 stars
8/31/98 MikeF it was ok. I fell asleep during the end. 3 stars
8/28/98 Chuck-D really really funny, Mike Myers's best film yet. Better even than Wayne's World 5 stars
8/23/98 James McCauley This movie blows Waynes World away! 5 stars
8/23/98 Mister Whoopee Some jokes work. Some jokes hurt. No Wayne's World. 3 stars
8/21/98 rotten f. milk It's a good film... FOR ME TO SPREAD AN UNLIMITED AMOUNT OF PRAISE FOR 4 stars
8/21/98 Pete I laughed my arse off. And said "I shagged her rotten" for days. 5 stars
8/19/98 f*r*o*s*t*y Mike Myers, you disappointed me. Damn you. 2 stars
8/18/98 zubilicious didnt like this flick, disappointing myers work. it had a couple good points, kinda. 2 stars
8/17/98 Johny Funny, funny, funny 5 stars
8/17/98 J-Guy (The MFC) I really liked this flick, but I am a huge Myers fan. He can do no wrong in my eyes. 4 stars
8/16/98 {{{OZ}}} I don't get the hysteria over this film. It's funny, mostly, but kinda... okay. 3 stars
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  02-May-1997 (PG-13)


  02-Jul-1997 (M)

Directed by
  Jay Roach

Written by
  Mike Myers

  Mike Myers
  Elizabeth Hurley
  Michael York
  Mimi Rogers
  Robert Wagner
  Seth Green

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