Jay Roach (1999, New Line Cinema)
Starring Mike Myers,Heather Graham, Michael York, Rob Lowe, and
Austin Powers travels back in time to recover his stolen "mojo" and
stop Dr. Evil from destroying the planet.
November 30th, 2001 on TV
So much better than the first movie, but it was still little more than one-liners strung out together to form a story, and the ending went too far over the top.
I was laughing throughout most of this movie, because it was genuinely funny. Unfortunately, the
humorous lines didn't have much substance, which hurt the movie a little. It is definitely a movie where we could just sit down and enjoy, not think too hard, and forget about it afterwards. But the key words are enjoying and not thinking.
I think Austin Powers and Dr. Evil were toned down quite a bit from the first film. There was a lot less screaming, and a lot less evil cackling. Most of the jokes were verbal, and not physical, which made it much more enjoyable. Like the moment when Dr. Evil discovers that his assistant Frau has not changed from 1969 to 1999, and after sampling Austin Powers' "mojo", they end up in the sack together. The result is a rewritten history where Scott Evil is the love child between them.
For Dr. Evil has developed a time portal, which somehow also exists back in 1969, and he goes back in time to two years after Powers has been frozen. They take a blood sample that steals the spy's ability to woo women, though he doesn't seem to have any trouble except self-confidence after
that -all the women still want him. Using his own time machine, Powers goes back in time also, and fends off assassin after assassin sent by Dr. Evil! It's really funny to watch, as Powers gets frustrated asking the same question three times in a row to get information out of one of them.
Felicity Shagwell might well be Austin Powers' match. She is chasing him down, instead of the other way around. But he can't commit, because he thinks he's lost his mojo. They track down Dr. Evil on his Dr. Evil-shaped volcano island, and try to take over.
They are captured, and Dr. Evil launches his spaceship to the moon, where he has somehow developed a giant laser, and plans to destroy Washington D.C.
Once we reach the moon, things get campy again, more like the first movie than the beginning of this one. Most gags are physical, with Powers ramming himself against bulkheads and pipes to get rid of a certain annoyance who has crawled into his spacesuit, and Dr. Evil describing his evil plots down to the minutest detail. Powers is able to use the time portal (how many of these things are there?) to both defeat Dr. Evil and save the girl, and they all end up in the future together -now there's an interesting situation...
But Dr. Evil survives anyway, guaranteeing another sequel.
Of course, what everybody likes about this film is Mini-me, the two-foot clone of Dr. Evil, who acts like a feisty small dog than a person. He bites everybody, puts dangerous gags in other people's beds, needs to be coddled and scolded every once in a while. He was very cute, though he didn't play a large part in the movie.
I also liked all the references to modern-day movies and culture. To the 1969 people of his organization, and to the President of that era, he uses all sorts of terms, like "Show me the money!" from
Jerry Maguire, footage from Independence
Day showing the White House blowing up, calling his laser the "Alan Parson's Project", and so on. The references were very well placed, so it drew a smile and a chuckle every time.
I don't know if there is more to say about this movie. It didn't have much substance, being mainly independent jokes held together by a very loose story. I enjoyed Heather Graham's cleavage, though she didn't do much as an actress. I could have done without the breast machine guns at the beginning -I am not a fan of rewriting history, even in the name of a gag. It was obviously simply to get rid of the old girl so that Austin could get a new one. I didn't like Fat Bastard in the slightest, especially his whining at the end, though I loved another reference to Powers' driving skills (or lack of them).
Call it an enjoyable no-brainer. So much better than the first movie, especially if you like one-liners.