Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
|Writers:||Mike Myers and Michael McCullers|
|New Line Cinema; 95 minutes; PG-13|
|Cast:||Mike Myers, Heather Graham, Michael York, Robert Wagner, Rob Lowe, Liz Hurley, Kristen Johnston|
He's back, baby! And more saucy than ever! Fans of Mike Myers' cultish James Bond spoof Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery have a new treat in store for them with its highly-anticipated sequel The Spy Who Shagged Me.
Though shorter on Bond references and longer on bathroom humor than the original, The Spy proves once again that Myers is on top of his comedic game. He's not afraid to take any joke (down) to the next level, no matter how obscure the reference may be or how outlandish it seems.
The film begins as the first one ended, with Austin and new bride Vanessa (again played by Liz Hurley) on their honeymoon. As we come to learn, Vanessa is actually an evil fembot whom Austin is forced to destroy, giving him the freedom once again to swing, drink martinis, and shag to his heart's content.
Meanwhile the villainous Doctor Evil (whom we first see with son Scott in a hilarious Jerry Springer episode) has invented a time machine, which will hurl him back in time to 1969 with two motives in mind. First he plans to destroy every major city in the U.S., beginning with Washington D.C., with a “laser” that's been placed on the moon.
Second, and more importantly, he must visit his nemesis Austin (who is frozen at the time) and insert a needle into him in order to suck out all of his “mojo.” The mojo is what gives Austin his aura of coolness and sexuality, his strength, his “right stuff,” his –as the French say– “I don't know what.”
Austin has no choice but to send himself back to 1969 as well to reclaim his mojo. There he teams up with the beautiful American agent Felicity Shagwell (Heather Graham), who somehow manages to outdo Hurley in the tight, sparse clothing department.
She helps Austin find his mojo and protects him against Evil and his usual cronies, Frau Farbissina and a young Number 2 (Rob Lowe). He also wards off double agent Ivana Humpalot (Kristen Johnson) who is hired by Evil to kill him. The two play a game of chess so hot it would melt even Deep Blue.
The most hilarious new character is Dr. Evil's new sidekick Mini-me, an exact clone of Evil, only 1/8 the size. Evil dotes on Mini-me as the real son he never had. Mini-me protects him via a wrestling match with Austin, dances with him (andnot too badly, either) in Evil's version of J“ust the Two of Us,” and “fits easily in most overhead storage bins.”
In addition to playing Powers and Evil, Myers also introduces a new character to his repertoire for the sequel.The appropriately named Fat Bastard weighs 700 pounds and comes complete with disgusting eating habits, possibly more body hair than Austin, and a Scottish accent that harkens back to the father in So I Married An Axe Murderer.
Much of Mr. Bastard's humor, however, is of the gross-out variety. Like a ride on a roller coaster, this new character is tons of fun, but some of his scenes may make even the strongest stomachs turn.
Like the original, the film will never be mistaken for highbrow comedy, but Myers does put his faith in his audience with the hopes that they'll understand and relate to his wit and his randomness. The story is campy and full of glaring holes, but does it really matter? The strength of the movie comes from its ridiculous characters, one-liners, and Myers' improv, which he estimated composed almost 40 percent of the movie.
Go in to it with the right attitude, and you can't help but belly laugh your way through it.