Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)


I’ve said before that a good sequel takes what was good about the original and expands or improves on it. This sequel to Austin Powers does exactly that. The original’s best moments were when Dr. Evil (Mike Myers) was on the screen and the really random jokes that come out of nowhere. The sequel expands Dr. Evil’s role, giving him nearly as much screen time as Austin (also played by Myers). I love Dr. Evil and his antics throughout the film, especially when he’s back in the 60s. He uses his knowledge of the future to make himself seem smarter, which works on everyone except his son Scott Evil (Seth Green).

The plot of this film is simple, but good enough to not make you question it as Myers runs riot with all of his characters. Powers is single again after it is revealed his lover from the first film, Liz Hurley, was a fembot. He wants to sow his wild oats but can’t, because he lost his mojo. Dr. Evil has gone back in time to the 60s with his tiny clone Mini Me and illegitimate son Scott to steal Austin’s mojo. Austin follows Evil back to the 60s to get his mojo back and save the day.

There are some great additions to the cast too. Rob Lowe is great as the young version of Number Two. Verne Troyer also steals a lot of scenes as Dr Evil’s midget clone Mini Me. Heather Graham is an improvement on Liz Hurley as the love interest Felicity Shagwell, mostly because she’s an actress and not a model trying to act. Myers also adds another character to his repertoire as the grotesque Fat Bastard.

I really like this movie, it manages to outperform a really solid first outing for the sexy secret agent by adding great new characters and giving more screen time to the best part of the original, Dr. Evil.

Rating: A-

If you like the first Austin Powers, you’ll like this one as well. It’s more of the same– sexual innuendo, silly humor, bright colors– but not quite as good, in my opinion.

Don’t get me wrong, I find this movie incredibly funny. I just prefer Elizabeth Hurley to Heather Graham. There is no comparison; Liz is superior in every way. I also loved the fish-out-of-water aspect of International Man of Mystery. Watching Austin struggle with adjusting to the 90s was hilarious. Placing him back in the 60s, as The Spy Who Shagged Me does, eliminates some of that awkward fun. I’m also not a fan of the character Fat Bastard. Mostly because his character begets gross out comedy, but also because I’m reminded how much my dad used to quote that character’s lines, and how annoying that was. (Part of me is hoping he won’t read this, because it will no doubt lead to more quoting during our next Skype chat.)

However, Mini Me is introduced in this installment, and that character is tops. The rivalry created between Dr. Evil’s son and Dr. Evil’s 1/8-his-size clone leads to some funny exchanges. The time travel plot line makes no sense, but to paraphrase Basil Exposition (is there a better, more aptly named character?): don’t think about it too much, just sit back and enjoy. Once you do that it’s all pretty comical. I also loved Rob Lowe as a young Number Two. His Robert Wagner impression is dead on, and he’s still attractive even with the eye patch.

Rating: B

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