Cast & Crew
(US); 1999; Rated PG-13; 95 Minutes
Mike Myers: Austin Powers/Dr. Evil
Heather Graham: Felicity Shagwell
Michael York: Basil Exposition
Robert Wagner: Number Two
Rob Lowe: Young Number Two
Seth Green: Scott Evil
Produced by Emma Chasin, Michael De Luca, Donna Langley,
John S. Lyons, Demi Moore, Mike Myers, Erwin Stoff, Jennifer
Todd and Suzanne Todd; Directed by Jay Roach; Screenwritten
by Mike Myers and Michael McCullers
by DAVID KEYES
funniest moment in "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me"
occurs only a few minutes from the beginning, when we see
Dr. Evil's miniature clone emerge out of a doorway, and
he sticks his little pinkie up to his lip. Evil is shocked
that his double has been created at a fraction of his actual
size, but likes what he sees regardless. So, what does he
do? "I think I'll call him, Mini-Me!"
little pieces of dialogue like that which made the original
"Austin Powers" movie so interesting and funny. Mike Myers
has always been a charming screen personality, but only
in this spy-spoof, and in the underrated "54," has he proven
to be a force to be reckoned with. One might not have much
difficulty picturing him five years down the road as a comic
legend of the cinema. So it is with this in mind that I
went and saw "The Spy Who Shagged Me" with great expectations.
The only question left: could Myers top himself again?
can, but his movie doesn't. The sequel to the mega-popular
spy spoof is something of mixed reaction, a movie in which
Myers remains an influencing screen presence, but the script
doesn't do him justice. There's no question as to whether
I laughed at some points, but that is beside the point of
the problem, which is the fact that there's no sharpness
in the concept. Part of the success with the first picture
was the clever edge that the story forced upon its characters.
Here, there is none of that. As is the case with most spoofs,
you smile a lot, but that's simply not enough.
half of the story, half of the wit, and half of the charm
of the first film, and that's what you get here. The plot
revolves around all the familiar characters of the first
movie, including a couple of extras, one of which is also
played by Myers. These characters basically underline the
thin story, which matches Austin up to Dr. Evil once again,
only this time, Evil wants to go back in time to steal the
mojo of Mr. Powers. This time, the spy has under his influence
a beautiful CIA agent named Felicity Shagwell, played by
the radiant Heather Graham. Both have an interesting chemistry
together, but since the premise is not structured on love
interest, we are forced to follow Evil's plans up until
the end, which get so ridiculous that there's even a cliché
or two thrown into them. How many times, for instance, has
the bad guy threatened to blow up the President if he does
not give him money?
movie's strength lies in Dr. Evil's son, Scott (Seth Green),
who throughout the picture gives us some of the most clever
dialogue to handle his father's evil schemes. The best scene
he has involves Dr. Evil and his 'mini-me,' discussing the
plans of pointing a particular object in space down onto
the US capitol. "I have turned the moon," Evil announces,
"into a deathstar." Scott chuckles. "Really, Vader?"
when the material gathers repugnance does the film completely
fall apart. I could have dismissed the lack of satire here,
but I could not have accepted the images surrounding some
of the humor, like the time in which we see Evil and his
son on the Jerry Springer show, venting about what makes
a person the most evil. Behind them are seated members of
the Klu Klux Klan, and skinheads with swastikas tattooed
somewhere on their body. That stuff is nothing to laugh
about. For that matter, neither is Jerry Springer.
what are we left with here? A letdown, really. So much could
have succeeded, and yet so much of it fails. The person
to blame cannot be directly pinpointed, either; the real
fault is a mixture of talents, from the lack of spunk in
the writing department to the dull way the camera moves
around characters. All of these things are put into a blender,
pureed, and taken out to reveal one big mess of disheartening
laughter and thin story.
there be a third "Austin Powers" flick, I hope that Mr.
Myers looks at these filmmakers and shouts to them, "Oh
behave!" Who knows? They might even take his advice.
1999, David Keyes, Cinemaphile.org.
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