Ossus Library Index Science Fiction Movie Index

AUSTIN POWERS
INTERNATIONAL MAN OF MYSTERY

Directed by Jay Roach (1997, New Line Cinema)
Starring Mike Myers, Elizabeth Hurley, Mimi Rogers, and Robert Wagner

A British secret agent is awakened from cryogenic sleep to protect the world from a madman from the past.

 

 

1 star

February 25th, 2001 on TV  
    Um... I don't know what to say. I was not amused by this "comedy" in any way (okay, I laughed twice). I don't know how to review this without offending some of my closest friends...

At least I will understand what they are talking about when they discuss certain Austin Powers stuff. I guess that's a good thing. And yes, I did laugh out loud twice, but I'll leave that to end the review on an upbeat note. 

I am not a fan of silly comedies. Leslie Nielsen used to do them very well, but even his most recent ones have not gone over well. I was never a fan of Jim Carrey, nor any of those Saturday Night Live alumni movies (nor SNL at all, ever). So I was never interested in seeing either Austin Powers movies. That left me completely in the dark when my friends were discussing it. And I believe that simply to be able to talk about a movie, be it good or horrible, the movie should be seen first. So here it is. And I was ready to turn it off after the first ten minutes!

I did not find it funny, from the way Powers kept trying to get Kensington into bed, to Mr. Evil sucking on his little finger when he thought he was doing something TRULY EVIL. I suppose, if I was in the right mood, I might find his constant out-of-touch cravings amusing, like when he refers to holding a ransom of one million dollars, or cutting a hole in the ozone layer, or blackmailing the Queen about Prince Charles. But not tonight. If I was in the right mood, I might find the strategically-placed objects that hid obscene or erotic body parts to be funny. As it was, I found them "cute" or simply less annoying than the rest of the movie.

The movie had some satire that was ruined by being so silly. Namely the Bond girls who spout toxic gas from their breasts (the outcome of which was way too predictable), the Easy Escape, which was not only telegraphed, but completely explored between Dr. Evil and his son. There wasn't any reason given for it, though, which only goes to show how stupid this man was, and makes one wonder how he became such a nefarious villain in the first place. 

The deep core drill and the ransom that the UN had to pay were played for laughs (I did like the RCMP mountie in the background -what would he be doing at the UN?), though I was still not amused. 

Miss Kensington was played fairly well, so that the movie wasn't a total loss. But given that Powers was acting the same at the beginning as he was at the end, why did her attitude towards him change? Don't think... don't think... don't think, I kept telling myself!

As for the two laughs, the second one was more of a response to something that caught me off guard, and that was Powers trying to turn his buggy around in the small corridor. I have no idea why I found that hilarious. The first one was more of a true comedy, and that's when the assassin is trying to choke Powers in the toilet. Especially when he asks "who is No. 2 working for?" and the man from Texas believes he's talking and grunting about his "toilet business". "How about a courtesy flush?" was also priceless. 

As tempted as I was to give this movie a dreaded zero stars, because of those two moments, the actual characterization of Miss Kensington (early, at least), and for my friends, I brought the movie into the one star category, but at the bottom of that category.

Maybe if I was in a sillier mood (but I was being silly all day, so that can't be it), or drunk (!) I could have enjoyed this movie even a little. But I doubt it. Two funny moments (brief moments, too) do not make a movie even the slightest bit entertaining. Sorry, but there is no way I could recommend this movie, except for people trying to fall asleep -as I almost did during most of it. I will, however, watch the second one on TV, so that I know what is going on when others discuss it, too. But there is no way I would pay money to see it. I am so glad this one was on TV so I didn't pay for it, either!
 
   

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