ORBzine - Movie Reviews - August 1999

Review: Austin Powers 2 - The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)

Austin Powers on Video

After reviewing the new Star Wars movie, we had to move on and review the other big hit of the summer. Indeed, as the trailer said If you can only see one movie this summer, see Star Wars - but if you can see two, see Austin Powers!

The Star Wars references are blatant - the title scrawl, the villain's superweapon (a Death Star) and the immortal I am your father line.

Although this is not a film that one might think of as Speculative Fiction, the SF element is present in several places. In the original film, Austin was cryogenically frozen in the 1960s (a la Demolition Man ) and thawed out in the 1990s when his arch enemy (the aptly-named Doctor Evil) returned from a Buck Rogers-style space trip.

Dr Evil returns from space again - and this time the first anyone hears of it is when he and Scott (Seth Green from Buffy the Vampire Slayer ) appear on an episode of the Jerry Springer Show entitled My father is evil and wants to take over the world. Believe me, this is a great kick-off to the film; the not-so-good Doctor beats the crap out of the KKK rep, and Jerry Springer himself even joins in the affray!

Dr Evil finds his assistant, Number 2 (Robert Wagner, with a bit of burns makeup after he was dumped in a fiery pit of doom in the first film) has cloned him - yet another SF homage. The not-so-good Doctor and his new sidekick, Mini-Me, go back in time to 1969 when their arch-nemesis was safely frozen. The young Number 2 is on hand to help, excellently portrayed by Rob Lowe.

Dr Evil hires a disgruntled Scots Guard called Fat Bastard (played by Mr Myers, of course) to steal the cryogenically-frozen Austin's Mojo, his libido. And once this is in Evil's hands, we learn how Scott was conceived.

Austin returns to the 1960s in a time machine straight out of Back to the Future - only to look inconspicuous in the 1960s they didn't use a DeLorean this time.

In a homage to Diamonds are Forever Dr Evil plans to use a space-based laser to destroy Washington DC. The laser is in Dr Evil's secret moon-base, thus turning the moon into a Death Star. Mike Myers has an excellent eye for pop culture, even if Dr Evil does not! :)

As a nod to the current space race fad (the anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission) the first man on the moon is not Neil Armstrong - it is Dr Evil! However, Austin and his babelicious colleague hitch a lift on Apollo 11 (Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin must have been rather put out!) and head off to defeat the bad guys!

There are lots of cameos. Willie Nelson and Woody Harrelson even let their names be used in dick jokes!

And speaking of jokes, this film has humour by the bucketload! As well as the Jerry Springer scene, the jokes that really stand out are the Coffee scene and the Tent sketch. They are so funny that to mention any more would risk spoiling your enjoyment of them.

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