Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997, Movie) – 8/10

Mike Myers: Austin Powers, Dr. Evil
Elizabeth Hurley: Vanessa Kensington
Michael York: Basil Exposition
Mimi Rogers: Mrs. Kensington
Robert Wagner: Number Two
Producer: Suzanne Todd
Producer: Demi Moore
Producer: Jennifer Todd
Producer: Mike Myers
Writer: Mike Myers
Director: Jay Roach

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)

Frozen in the Sixties, thawed in the Nineties; Austin Powers is brought back to combat a man so evil he is called Dr. Evil. He is assigned the beautiful Vanessa Kensington as his assistant but quickly finds that the Sixties’ values of free love and drugs has no place in the modern world.

8/10

Austin Powers is, perhaps, the first ever film to spoof the Bond franchise and be funny at the same time. It works from the first strains of Quincy Jones Soul Bossa Nova and thanks, not just to Myers’ Dr. Evil as traditionally attributed, but to the charm of Myers’ Austin Powers. He’s an entirely cheerable, self-effacing hero with surprisingly recognisable humanity. On the minus side, Mindy Sterling’s Frau Farbissinia absolutely does not work at all at any point in any way, Seth Green isn’t the comedy genius he thinks he is and Elizabeth Hurley is incapable of acting (though she compensates by looking lovely and having a nice smile).

This movie contains mild swear words, strong adult dialogue and violence, unpleasant scenes and mild sensuality, mild nudity.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

The problem with trying to create a spoof of the sixties era is that a lot of sixties film’s already feel like parodies. The problem with trying to create a spoof of the James Bond franchise is that some of those film’s already have self-mocking, all-knowing humour. This film does have a number of poor gags, generally when trying to make fun of movie super-villians.

However, it also has a good number of extremely funny jokes and these, coupled to Myers’ good performances, counteract the low points. Myers is quite brilliant in the title role, very likeable and it will be nice to see him back in further sequels. He may be sexist, vulgar and have outrageous dress sense but he is nice with it.

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