Wednesday, June 9, 1999

Summer score

Movie: Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

Posted on Wed, Jun 9, 1999 at 4:00 AM

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
Studio: New Line Cinema
Release Date: 1999-06-11
Cast: Mike Myers, Heather Graham, Robert Wagner, Gia Carides, Seth Green
Director: Jay Roach
Screenwriter: Mike Myers, Michael McCullers
Music Score: Various artists
WorkNameSort: Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
Our Rating: 3.00

"Do you smoke after sex?" voluptuous new bride Vanessa (Elizabeth Hurley) asks hubby Austin Powers (Mike Myers) near the beginning of "The Spy Who Shagged Me," the sequel to the 1997 comedy recounting the misadventures of the titular superagent. He's a swaggering goofball with bad teeth and unremarkable features who's nevertheless irresistible to women. "I don't know, baby, I never looked," the self-described International Man of Mystery replies with a nudge-nudge and a mischievous grin.

That's the first of many double entendres, bad puns and sight gags that make the highly anticipated return of Myers' franchise a relentlessly silly and often riotously funny delight. It's this summer's "There's Something About Mary" -- inane, bawdy popcorn fare that's spiked with scatological humor and other assorted bits of crudity. File under: guilty pleasure -- and see it again with friends equally receptive to this sort of twit wit.

Last time Powers escaped the swinging, shagadelic world of '60s London and awakened from his cryogenic sleep in the '90s. For the second installment, he time-travels back three decades in pursuit of mad scientist Dr. Evil (Myers), who is already there, having stolen his archenemy's "mojo," retroactively preventing Powers from completing his romantic transactions in the future. Evil, now headquartered in a Starbucks-themed complex on the moon but in the old days residing inside a hollowed-out volcano, is accompanied by a pint-sized clone named Mini-Me (Verne Troyer) and Fat Bastard (Myers), a grotesquely overweight Scotsman.

Our hero, accompanied by sexy CIA agent Felicity Shagwell (Heather Graham), has a multipart mission: He must recover his sex drive, foil the bad guys' plans to destroy the world and successfully make a mojo connection with Felicity. Yeah, baby.

"The Spy Who Shagged Me," in addition to parodying all things Bond, crams in as many pop-culture references -- contemporary and dated -- as possible. Thus, young Scott Evil (Seth Green) appears on "The Jerry Springer Show" in a segment called "My father is evil and he wants to take over the world." An opening screen scroll is the first of several hints of "Star Wars." The style and the color of "Laugh-In" are everywhere, particularly in musical montages. Dr. Evil quotes from Jerry Maguire. And Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach sing the latter's "I'll Never Fall in Love Again." Does all this foolishness really fit together? Nope. Does that spoil the fun? Not at all.



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