Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Just as good.
Parodies are a tricky subject, because most really have no idea of how to make a movie. The first Austin Powers movie was obviously and mostly a parody on the James Bond films, making fun of so many different elements of James Bond that are easy to make fun of. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me as a whole isn’t as much of a parody of James Bond like the first film was, but it does have some elements in there as well. Instead, this is a parody that makes fun of other projects…so how do you go about rating that?
Austin Powers is back, and so is Dr. Evil. In order to stop Austin Powers for good, Dr. Evil composes a plan to steal Powers’ mojo, the physical element that makes Austin unstoppable. To do this, he goes back in time, to 1969 and steals it from an already cryogenically frozen Austin Powers (instead of killing him, of course). In order to stop Dr. Evil, Austin Powers must also travel back in time to get his mojo back. Along the way, Dr. Evil continues with his dastardly plot to rule the world – beginning with destroying Washington D.C. with a giant moon “laser”.
The plot in this film had more focus on the conflict between Austin Powers and Dr. Evil. As Powers says in the film – this time it’s personal. The part about Dr. Evil trying to take over the world actually wasn’t detrimental to the story…this film was more about characters. This was the movie that introduced us to Fat Bastard and Mini Me, two of the most well-known Austin Powers characters of all time. As far as characters goes, this film was better than the original. Those characters are original and hilarious. As far as story goes, this film isn’t as great.
This film franchise isn’t just a parody of James Bond films, but also of spy films in general. So when watching, I want to see shout outs to spy films, not stuff like The Great Dictator or Jerry Maguire. That being said, those mentions were at least tasteful. I say that because modern parodies often have characters from other projects – like Superman will show up or Michael Jackson…which in my opinion makes them horrible. In this film, these are just pop culture references, which I’m okay with. I would just rather have spy references, honestly. I will say that the movie isn’t completely missing Bond references. The entire film is more or less a spoof of Moonraker and You Only Live Twice.
Fat Bastard is probably mimicking You Only Live Twice for its strange fight between James Bond and a sumo wrestler, and also for the ship in the end that can open up in the front to swallow up smaller things. However, the whole laser on the moon part can more or less be compared to Moonraker, the most hated James Bond film of all, with all of its sci-fi glory. That, and of course (again) Dr. Evil resembles the evil Blofeld and the title is a mock of The Spy Who Loved Me.
As a film focusing on characters, Austin Powers: The Spy who Shagged Me is becoming more self-aware. It’s starting to realize that the characters really are hilarious all on their own, and in such, is able to create more original and hilarious stories with those characters. On the negative side, its use of pop-culture references is reminiscent of what makes modern parodies bad…which has me worried for Goldmember. It’s been years since I’ve seen these films…I can’t remember what I thought of them all. Hope for the best, I suppose