Sometimes, it's easy for a reviewer like me to get really tight about films, and nit-pick about things like concise editing, pacing, and whatnot. Sometimes, I have to just let go and say, yes, I really dug this flick. It was groovy in a very happening way.
So, in regards to Austin Powers: Yes, I really dug this flick. It was groovy in a very happening way.
It's the story of the 60s most swingingest superspy, Austin Powers (Mike Myers), who is cryogenically frozen and brought back to the cold, corrupt 90s to do battle with his similarly frosted archnemesis, Dr. Evil (Myers again). Powers is teamed with Ms. Kensington (Elizabeth Hurley), the daughter of his old partner (Mimi Rogers). At first, Kensington is cold, but she gradually warms to the oddly charming, goofy secret agent. Meanwhile, Dr. Evil is trying to make his own breakthrough - to his son Scott (Seth Green), who hates his father's guts and just wants to live his own life.
Most of the humor centers around the situations that occur due to both Austin and Evil losing 30 years. The spy still holds delusions that his own hipness is universal, when alas, he's a bit of a relic. Evil's plots of, well, evil are constantly thwarted by his lack of knowledge about this new era (he plans to blackmail the Royal Family by breaking up Prince Charles marriage to Princess Di...years after their divorce).
There's tons of great comic gems, most of them from the idiosynchratic Dr. Evil (there's only so many utterances of the word "Groovy" one can take - and this film nearly hits the limit). For months after I first saw this, "Sh!" was like a catchphrase, and it doesn't get much better than when the demented genius is extolling the joys of shaved testicles.
Admittedly, compared to the sheer fun Myers seems to be having with Dr. Evil, the segments with Austin can drag on just a little. Yes, we get it - he's totally out of place. The "fish out of water" routine gets tiresome and just about outstays its welcome, before the wickedly pointed James Bond spoofery in the finalé kicks in (honestly, just count the number of Bond references in the last 20 minutes alone - you'll run out of fingers and, most likely, toes).
Sure, most of the humor's juvenile. If you really think about it, most of the gags are just slightly touched up jokes from 8th Grade. But then again, who wants to think about it? Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. It's a lot better than the follow-up (Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me), which, while enjoyable in a minor way, exhibits everything that's wrong with the modern sequel.
Reviewed By: Nate Yapp