Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

1969 Okay

Unfrozen superspy leftover Powers makes his second appearance on the screen amid a deafening carnival of hype which leads one to believe that a let-down is inevitable. But our man Mike Myers saves the world again.

Though many critics are doing a poo-poo dance on it, this is a sequel that delivers laughs by the carload – and as I’ve stated before: Funny Rules. Sure, the initial film had a bit of something to say about comparing the values of different decades – and Austin grew as a character over the course of the film – but what made it a hit was that it made people laugh.

Picking up where AP1 left off, we find Austin on his honeymoon with Elizabeth Hurley interrupted yet again by an assassination attempt by a minion of Dr. Evil, which leaves Austin without a wife. He then grieves for about 4 seconds before cavorting about wildly in the nude. Meanwhile, Dr. Evil returns from his escape into orbit and hatches another evil plan – a journey back in time to 1969 to threaten the Earth with a giant laser from his base on the moon. But first he sends his Scot henchman Fat Bastard to steal “mojo” from the frozen Powers. Our hero pursues Evil through time with his own “time machine”, teaming up with American spy Felicity Shagwell (yummy Heather Graham).

If this sounds silly to you – good! Silly is the series’ main strength, followed by visual invention and a healthy willingness to be stupid.

AP2 recycles many of the same routines that grew spontaneously on the set of its predecessor. Some of these fall a bit flat (Dr. Evil again “shushes” his not quite as evil son Scott), but the rest show fresh invention and work very well. Myers’ new character Fat Bastard – a further indulgence of his fixation on Britons which saw early work on SNL – outgrosses even the grossest humor of the Farrelly brothers, but he’s just too pitifully repellent to garner the intended degree of amusement. But the film more than makes up for these impediments with a parade of hilarious bits: the screeching Frau Farbissina (Mindy Sterling), Robe Lowe’s dead-on impression of Robert Wagner, another melee on Springer, Shagwell and Powers in matching bikinis;  – and above all (so to speak), Dr. Evil’s pint-size clone, “Mini-me” (Verne Troyer), whose antics just about steal the show.

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