Anthony's Film Review
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
A funny and original spoof made especially funny with James Bond references...
The 1960s was a unique cultural decade. It was a time of good music and plenty of sexual freedom. It was also a significant time for espionage, both fact and fiction. The Cold War was picking up, and the James Bond movies were just starting to hit theaters around the world. Who would know better about this time than Austin Powers, a British spy who loves to party and shag (i.e., get laid)? Sadly, most people of the present-day 1990s may not be in tune to all of this.
That's exactly what Austin faces. He is frozen in the 1960s, and so is his arch-nemesis, Dr. Evil. When the villain resurfaces, Austin Powers is thawed since he is the only man who can stop this madman. This leads to a funny scene in the movie where, as a result of being frozen for decades, Austin has to spend more than a minute emptying his urinary bladder. He also has to explain about why he possesses materials related to Swedish-made penis enlarger pumps.
The movie has your typical spy plot, so I won't go into it. What I'd rather go into is how the movie makes fun of James Bond. There are plenty of references to the Bond movies that it's pretty much my main reason for liking this film. First, Dr. Evil is a bald guy with a white cat, just like Ernst Stavro Blofeld. His right-hand man is Number Two, just like Emilio Largo from Thunderball who has an eye patch and is considered SPECTRE #2. There's a woman named Frau Farbissina who reminded me of Rosa Klebb in From Russia With Love. Random Task is the Austin Powers version of the big Korean man Oddjob from Goldfinger. And speaking of that movie, there's a woman in this movie whose name is just as sexually explicit as a woman in that other one.
As a humorous reminder of how some people don't understand the James Bond movies, Dr. Evil has a son named Scott. He's your typical 90s teenager who doesn't like what his father is doing. He also thinks his dad does some stupid things. Instead of locking the spy in a cell somewhere, Dr. Evil invites Austin Powers over for dinner so that they could chat about what his evil scheme is. Dr. Evil also insists on killing Austin Powers with a method that would take a lot of time until Austin dies, in which time he could easily escape. He would rather do that than follow his son's suggestion: shoot Austin with a gun.
I'll conclude by saying how much I enjoyed the cast playing their roles. Mike Myers as both Austin Powers and Dr. Evil is an amusing choice for both roles. Elizabeth Hurley is a fine choice as the leading lady. I also like how it parodies both the Bond movies and the 1960s. The sexual jokes make the film a more unique film among the genre of spy spoofs. It is enough to sum up what I think in just two words: Groovy, baby!
For more information about Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, visit the Internet Movie Database.
In addition, check out my reviews of Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and Austin Powers in Goldmember.