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New Century of Cinema
DOWSE Guide to the
by Tony Lee editor of
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
directed by Jay Roach
95 minutes (12)
review by Mark McLaughlin
Mike Myers' character, Austin Powers, is an odd but
charming mix of Sixties spy, pop star and Romeo - the last role being the
most unlikely, because of his crooked, discolored teeth and general lewdness.
But then, that's the joke - that women worldwide would ever find such a
ghastly satyr irresistible. I'd enjoyed the first Austin Powers movie
quite a lot - but still, I'd felt it had some flaws. The pace was uneven
(it dragged in places) and it had its share of incredibly insincere 'sensitive'
moments, when we are to believe that this smarmy troll could ever develop
tender human feelings.
Thankfully, that doesn't happen in the sequel, Austin Powers: The Spy Who
Shagged Me - in fact, in this second installment, Austin Powers takes a
backseat to his much funnier villain, Dr. Evil (played by Myers). The bad
guys steal the show this time: Myers also stars as the morbidly obese and
thoroughly disgusting Scottish assassin, Fat Bastard. In addition, Dr. Evil
has a tiny clone companion named Mini-Me, who is constantly at odds with the
doc's 'quasi-evil' son, Scott Evil.
In almost every way, the sequel is a better, funnier movie than the first.
The pace is faster and the jokes are more freewheeling. The sequel has an
added note of gleefully disgusting humor - most of which revolves around the
bodily functions of Fat Bastard. These gross jokes are so wildly playful
that one can't find them too offensive.
The sequel has several other bizarre, campy touches: Dr. Evil's love of
catch-phrases and pop culture... the Laugh-In-like Sixties parties...
the various time-travel twists... and the beginning plot device used to
explain away the marriage in the first film. Heather Graham is sexy and
likeable as Austin's love interest, and it's nice to see a female spy
character who is just as forward and candid about her sexuality as most male
For the record: if anyone wants to see the worst spy spoof of all time, they
should rent the 1966 stinker, Dr. Goldfoot And The Girl Bombs! At points,
the villain, played by Vincent Price, actually explains the plot directly to
the camera. Amazingly, it was directed by horror maestro Mario Bava! The
scenes with Italian comedians Franco and Ciccio are tiresome and unwatchable.
As for leading man Fabian - he always looks clueless, like he just woke up
from a nice long nap. Vincent Price is no stranger to campy humor - he's
marvelous in both Dr. Phibes movies - but this snoozer doesn't give
him much to work with. Thankfully, it's only 79 minutes long!
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