AUSTIN POWERS: THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME
In Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Dr. Evil has invented
a time machine to take him back to the '60s in order to steal Austin's "mojo"
(sex drive, lust for life, spunk, chutzpah), so that Austin will be powerless
to fight him in his quest to conquer the world. Austin follows him through
the machine, so the two are thrown backwards 30 years, and now the joke
is how '90s references confuse the characters who lived then. As in the
first film, Myers's portrayal of Dr. Evil is considerably funnier than his
Austin. Dr. Evil is a megalomaniac of the first order, but has great trouble
getting his staff, and his son Scott (Seth Green), to give him the respect
he craves. Austin is mostly just interested in "shagging" (sex).
Along for the second time are Evil's employees, Frau Farbissina (Mindy
Sterling, Instant Comedy With The Groundlings), "Number Two"
(Robert Wagner), and a very humorous cameo by the still-not-dead Mustafa
(Will Ferrell). Added to his list are the young version of "Number
Two" (played by Rob Lowe, but with Wagner's voice), and a clone of
Dr. Evil (midget actor and stunt performer Verne Troyer), who is exactly
like him in every way, including the bald head and silver jumpsuit, but
only about 3 feet tall. Dr. Evil lovingly refers to this pint-sized version
of himself as "Mini-Me" and treats him as a surrogate son, since
his own offspring, Scott, can't stop harping on the stupidity of his father's
methods. Another addition is "Fat Bastard" (also Myers), an obese
Scotsman whose only function is to provide every type of gross-out humor
possible, and he does so with distressing effectiveness. Joining Austin
is Heather Graham as Felicity Shagwell, his American love interest, who
seems to want to pattern herself after him as well as be his girl.
There are some who say this film, written by Myers and Michael McCullers, and directed by M. Jay Roach, is funnier than the first. It definitely continues the premise established in Man Of Mystery, reiterating the '60s-'90s comparisons, the use of camera angles to make everyday objects look like people's "naughy bits," and the hysterical family/relationship/staff problems of Dr. Evil. But where Man Of Mystery was funny like, say, Mel Brooks's Blazing Saddles (a bit raunchy but hysterical nonetheless), The Spy Who Shagged Me is much more gross, like Monty Python's The Meaning Of Life. You really have to be in a juvenile mood to enjoy the humor of Fat Bastard, and I think the addition of that character hurts more than helps the film. But the classic pop tunes are great, the laughs are plentiful, and I can't wait to see what lame, diabolical scheme Dr. Evil has planned for next time. ****
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