Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)

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Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Hilarious in parts.

You would think that after watching 50 years-worth of James Bond flicks, I wouldn’t be so ready and apt to watch yet another spy series – certainly not one that mimics the 007 films. However, while watching one of the 007 films, You Only Live Twice, I noticed so many similarities in the plot between that film and one of the Austin Powers films…well the Austin Powers movie I was thinking of wasn’t the first in the series, because this one more or less makes fun of the typically stupid ideas presented in the Bond films in general. Mike Myers can be a funny guy, but does he deliver here? Sometimes, sure…others….weeelll…

So Austin Powers is a secret agent man working for the British government in the ‘60s. He is your stereotypical ‘60s man in full disco-attire, obsessed with sex. Meanwhile, Dr. Evil plans his return for world dominance 30 years in the future. So Austin Powers goes into cryogenic sleep for thirty years and wakes to Dr. Evil’s evil scheme – to steal a nuclear warhead and build a digging machine that will explode at the Earth’s core, forcing all volcanoes of the world to erupt.

The idea of this film was pretty much just to make fun of James Bond and the unrealistic elements generally given in each film. Obviously, there is Austin Powers, a man that is obviously stupid and unattractive, is a sex magnet. His appearance is mostly original, but the fake hair on his body is clearly making fun of the bed of hair Sean Connery often sported. Then, there is Dr. Evil, a clear and almost identical representation of Blofeld in the 007 universe. He says “Let’s just do what we always do and steal a nuclear weapon and force the world to pay us”. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Throughout the film, if you have watched the Bond classic films, you’ll notice these little things shouting out to plot points and consistently making fun of how stupid they sounds when explained out loud.

The jokes are fresh, and honestly are hilarious at times. However, other times they aren’t so much. I like the idea of Austin Powers, but I’m not such a fan of his character. I get why you have to make fun of how unrealistic he gets women, but I just wasn’t laughing for those parts. However, Dr. Evil is perfect. His scenes are absolutely hysterical. The comedy differs between Austin Powers and Dr. Evil. On Austin Powers side, it’s really all about sexual innuendo. Dr. Evil is about physical and repetitive humor, which I fancy more. However, the overall style of humor is random, and that’s one of my favorite kinds. So all in all, the comedy is touch and go, but when it touches, it really is hilarious. I’m actually glad they used puns in this film, clearly making fun of Roger Moore. Austin Powers just stood there and made pun after pun until someone told him to stop – thank you!

They play off the idea that both Austin and Dr. Evil are absolutely retarded, and their chemistry with each other is phenomenal, and why shouldn’t it be? They are both Mike Myers, both characters he wrote to perfectly work well together. There is a flaw though, the tone of the film may overly feel like a drawn out Saturday Night Live sketch. Once that idea strikes you, you might start to feel like this could work well as a 3-5 minute long skit, but as a full movie, that may be stretching it. In the end, the movie isn’t really that long anyways, so you can’t complain about length.

Mike Myers can be brilliant, and some of his writing in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery proves that he is a funny man, but it lacks that feeling of perfection. Some of the humor falls flat while others are laugh-out-loud, grabbing your knees funny…that may be stretching the truth, but the writing is pretty good in some parts. The idea behind the film is clearly a parody off of James Bond 007, but it is done tastefully…the way parodies should be done.

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One thought on “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)

  1. Pingback: The Austin Powers Collection (1997-2002) | Dave Examines Movies

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