Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery ★★★★½

A wildly over the top and joke-dense parody of James Bond movies, Swinging Sixties bullshit (replete with references to A Hard Day’s Night and Beyond The Valley of the Dolls), and I guess whatever was going on in the late 90s, crammed full of catchphrases I probably said myself in my high school cafeteria, and both outrageously stupid and surprisingly smart (“allow myself to introduce...myself” is a really good joke). Its short running time - 89 minutes, seven more than Money Plane - means that the movie never stops to catch its breath, but also means none of the set pieces have a chance to wear out their welcome. As relatively amusing as Austin Powers is, Dr. Evil has been more my favorite, a giant weirdo with Lorne Michaels’ voice and Ernst Blofeld’s head that gets most of the funniest lines. Some stuff has aged badly, but that’s how it goes with comedies, and things like Austin getting unfrozen or Dr. Evil’s group therapy monologue are as funny as ever. Having seen shit like Dr. No or Blow-Up (which one assumes Myers has seen in the neighborhood of 3,000 times) makes the movie work on a totally different level, and I do like the idea of this dopey parody being someone’s entryway to Russ Meyer or whatever. A lot of crap I liked as a teenager probably sucks now, but I think this holds up and is a lot of fun in how goofy and self-aware it is. Gotta love that Austin is canonically a Communist. Shout out to Carrie Fisher.

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