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:: AUSTIN POWERS : The spy who shagged me

We left the original International Man of Mystery with Austin Powers (Mike Myers) honeymooning with agent Vanessa Kensington (Elizabeth Hurley) while Dr Evil (Mike Myers) drifts through space in his Big Boy rocket. That provided some terrific comic moments. Now, in the latest episode, the Big Boy and Vanessa are dispensed with as Dr Evil sets out on his latest plan to rid himself of Austin. Austin has a time machine of his own, and pops back to swinging London where he teams up with hot agent Felicity Shagwell (Heather Graham) to prevent evil and embark on a new series of escapades. Felicity is a hot chick befitting the 60s mood. She’s in love with Austin and is very sexy. Dr Evil uses his henchman, Fat Bastard (Mike Myers) to steal Austin’s mojo. Austin returns to 1969 to do battle.

The nature of Austin fighting Dr Evil is somewhat irrelevant and beside the point. The film is as its best when mocking film conventions of many sorts. Mike Myers works brilliantly when working with incongruous situations such as following the romance between Dr Evil and colleague Frau Farbissina (Mindy Sterling). Myers does tend to exhaust the gags of the previous film, but it’s still very funny. We even see the momentous Evil family therapy session revisited hilariously as a “Jerry Springer” episode. Myers finds a way to do another character and work in his beloved Scottish accent, as the grossly obese Fat Bastard. He is obsessed with his own sexiness. Rob Lowe does a dead-on Robert Wagner impression as the young No.2. The other twist, and a highlight of the characterizations, is the diminutive Dr Evil clone Mini-Me (Verne Troyer). He is a high-tech, one-eighth sized replica of Dr Evil, and he has all the evil qualities to boot. He is involved in many unforgettable scenes. Just the appearance of Dr Evil and his Mini-Me performing together has to be seen.

t’s a film of zany antics and high energy. For sheer creativity the filmmakers deserve credit. It’s big and bold in terms of the sets and the clothes alone. A huge effort was made to recapture the 60s look with the hot pants, leatherwear and generally adventurous free gear. It’s all part of Austin Power’s visual existence. It’s easy to see the Bond-like connections, but that doesn’t ridicule his persona. We are simply taken on a journey through outrageousy good fun. The soundtrack is most appealing, with music by Madonna, Lenny Kravitz and a duet by Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello. When it comes to generating laughs, Mike Myers has the mojo in place.