Austin Powers: The spy who shagged me

(c) New Line Cinema Production 1999 (c) RCV Film Distruibution

Those of you who are devout Mike Myers fans will not be surprised. Those of us who have not been so devout (yeah, baby) are most pleasantly surprised by the very, very funny new spy (?) film he's made. Groovy (and much better than AP1).

Austin Powers (Mike Myers) is the suave guy spy who always carries himself (colorfully) with suplesse and finesse, no matter how clumsy he may be while doing it. He's got "it", baby, even when he misses his mojo (aka source of sexual prowess). That nastily demented Dr. Evil (Mike Myers) is planning to do terrible things again (as one can easily surmise from that flicking finger and sinister laugh). Having gotten his hands on Austin's mojo (not a nice place for it to be) the evilevilevilevilevilevile Dr. Evil has returned to the 60's. Austin is on his hapless honeymoon with Vanessa Kensington (Elizabeth Hurley) in the 90's when he makes a startling discovery. Yes, Dr. Evil, it seems, has been defrosted and is, as mentioned, up to no good (or even worse). (Austin, it seems, is up to less.) Once he returns to the 60's, will AP be able to deal capably with the seductive devices of CIA agent Felicity Shagwell? What will happen to our smiling hero? Will he get his mojo? Is the devious plan of Dr. Evil the final phase that will bring about the debonair spy's demise? Strike a pose.

In the first film ("Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery") Austin traveled from the 60's to the 90's. Now he's returning to the 60's with all he's learned from the 90's. Oh, behave. Dr. Evil has invested in a small coffee company called Starbucks and hired two henchmen, a one-eighth replicated clone named Mini-Me (Verne Troyer) and a somewhat larger than life, baby-eating Fat Bastard (Mike Myers - with a voice sounding remarkably like that of Billy Connelly). But enough. Let's not talk about flatulence here. Pfffffffffffffffffffffffaaahhhrrrrrrrttttttttttt!!!

Austin, like any good guy from the 60's, always seems to have his mind on sex, sex, sex. Maybe that's why people from the 90s find him such an incredible turn on and so irresistible. Dr. Evil, on the other hand, likes all those odd and kinky things; so I guess he's very 60's too, in a 90's kind of way. Maybe that's what gives him such an incredibly smooth head and also makes him so irresistible. Austin in his red-velvet-with-lace-sleeves and Evil in his Sunset Boulevard-chaffer-uniform, as well as all of the other flashback colors, are compliments of costume designer Deena Appel. As far as the rest of the costume designs go, does anyone remember mini-skirts? Could anyone ever forget them? Production designer Rusty Smith sure has done a great job of recreating the feeling of the period(s), so much so that one heaves a sigh remembering Carnaby Street. One also expects Matt Helm to walk past at any moment.

It appears as if the "in crowd" of the 90's can't wait to stand up and be counted among the "in crowd" of the 60's, so try to keep a count (as well as account) of the faces flashing by on this pink, red, purple, yellow and orange silver screen. Flash, flash, back, back. Oh, yeah, baby! Robert Wagner is Dr. Evil's second in command, Rob Lowe is Young Number Two (second in command's second in command), Michael York is Powers' high commander Basil Exposition with an alphabetic name or two on the side, Scott Green is the Generation X rebellious punk son of Dr. Evil, Gia Carides is assassin(ette) Robin Swallows, Mindy Sterling is the uptight German Frau Farbissina, Tim Robbins is the President of the United States (why not? At least this one can act), and the notoriously beautiful (oh, yeah, baby, sprechen vous Russky, dah?) and exquisitely droll (oh, yeah, yeah) Kristen Johnson is Russian spy Ivana Humpalot (come again?). Also appearing are Burt Bacharach, Elvis Costello, Jerry Springer, Willie Nelson and supermodel Rebecca Romijn-Stamos as themselves. Did Mike miss anybody this time around? Oh, well, wait till part 3 gets made.

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