Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery is the James Bond parody we deserve. Growing up, it was practically impossible to escape Austin Powers. It was so quotable that I knew lines from the movie long before I saw any of them. The movie begins in the 60’s. Austin Powers is an exaggerated British spy with bad teeth and colorful suits. After a fight with his archenemy Dr. Evil, both are cryogenically frozen until the year 1997. Austin Powers is one of a few parody films that’s both hilarious and sincere.
Austin’s horned up swinger attitude is lost on the modern sensibilities of his partner Vanessa Kensington. Played by British babe Elizabeth Hurley. Their best gag involves obscured nudity. Mike Myers is satirizing past Bond actors, but he does make the role his own. With catchphrases like “Oh behave,” “Yeah, baby,” or “Judo chop.” Myers does double duty by playing Dr. Evil, in a hilarious performance that very nearly outshines the hero. He’s an obvious parody of Blofeld with a hairless cat named Mr. Bigglesworth.
His plan is to steal nuclear weapons, hold the world ransom for “one million dollars,” and use sexy fembots to kill Austin Powers. The only problem is he’s surrounded by frickin’ idiots that can’t even get sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads. Like Number 2, Frau Farbissina, and Mustafa (who can’t seem to die). His Oddjob-like henchman is the shoe throwing Random Task. Seth Green also stands out as Dr. Evil’s grungy son Scott whom he takes to father-son counseling. Other Bond parodies include much more obvious names like Alotta Fagina or multiple one-liner attempts. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery is a very shagadelic riff on the spy genre.
Followed by: Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me