Urban Cinefile
"I have to remind myself day to day that I was never able to have just one of anything. "  -Samuel L. Jackson
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet  

Search SEARCH FOR A VIDEO_FILE
Our Review Policy OUR REVIEW POLICY
Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE

Help/Contact

AUSTIN POWERS

SYNOPSIS:
Back in 1967, buck-toothed, crushed- velvet wearing, mop-topped Austin Powers (Mike Myers) worked as a swingin' fashion photographer by day and a groovy super agent for a British spy organisation the rest of the time. When not working, his primary interest was in 'shagging' every pretty girl he could get his hands on. His chief nemesis was the bald-pated, cat-loving, megalomaniac Dr. Evil. Just before Powers catches him once and for all, Dr. Evil has himself placed in a cryogenic capsule and blasted into space. Not wanting to be outdone, Powers volunteers to have himself frozen too. Thirty years pass and Dr Evil returns to London to continue his wicked schemes for world domination. Powers' is promptly thawed him out, too and set up with gorgeous but morally conservative Vanessa Kensington (Elizabeth Hurley), the daughter of his former partner. Their mission is to stop Dr Evil. Powers and Evil attempt to resume business as usual, but times have dramatically changed and both psychedelic dinosaurs find themselves hilariously struggling to adapt.

"Bursting with deliciously nasty villains, beautiful women, intriguing gismos, a touch of humour and lots of action, the James Bond thrillers of the sixties were the coolest. Their popularity spawned a number of tongue-in-cheek B movie and television imitators including the Matt Helm films, Our Man Flint, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Written by and starring Saturday Night Live alumnus Mike Myers in a dual role, Austin Powers is primarily a parody of those secondary spy thrillers with the added zest of spoofing '60s pop culture. And the film is fun - for maybe half its running time. You see, even the Bond films ultimately emerged as self-parodies, and many of the films Powers spoofs, were themselves parodies, so what you have, then, is a film that pokes fun at itself in more ways than one. Myers is a clever comic but his schtick is repetitious and tiresome; Hurley looks gorgeous, but like all those Bond women before her, has little to do but appear decorative in an occasionally amusing way. Austin Powers pokes fun at many a film, though unless you're a Bond devotee, you may not pick up on which film. There are some delightful moments, and the music gives the movie a playful edge, but one wonders why on earth a parody of sixties pop culture is needed, when the sixties themselves remain a quintessential parody of a world trying to take itself too seriously."
Paul Fischer

"Bubblegum for the brain, Austin Powers is a hoot of a film which doesn’t pretend to be anything else. Ridiculously absurd and over the top with loads of colour, both in terms of esthetics and colourful characters, the film tries a little too hard to be funny. Cute idea, but perhaps not enough to sustain the whole film. We’re talking about body hair, bad teeth, ‘shagging’, and everything’s ‘groooovy, bay-bee’. All this, with lashings of Burt Bacharach, Bond parodies and toilet humour of all kinds. True, there are some amusing moments, but mostly they are diluted by over-kill. Number Two and his evil but well endowed assistant Alotta Fagina should be the butt of one lusty joke or two, but no-one seems to have told Mike Myers that the joke dies when thrashed to death. But this aside, Austin Powers is for the RNLS (Ridiculous Nonsense Laugh Seekers). Enigmatic and stunning in the looks department, Liz Hurley makes a decorative foil for our anti-hero, while the transformation of Dr Evil’s persian chinchilla to that of a hair-less sphynx cat in the freezing process is a nice touch. Watch out for a few unheralded star cameos. They come as a welcome surprise."
Louise Keller

"Look, I might have been in an unamusable mood, but Austin Powers struck me as more silly than funny, although I do appreciate some of its whacky, double-whammy comedy. Plenty of toilet humour and ‘rude word’ play infests the film, and nothing is taken seriously. The problem with this approach is that it limits your margins for error: if no character is taken seriously and the plot is a joke, all that is left to reach the audience is the comedy. If that is at all weak, you are dead. I regret to say the film died for me: but there were plenty in the audience at the preview screening who rolled about with laughter. Perhaps the biggest problem of all, for me, was Mike Myer’ central character, the bucktoothed idiot: there is no heritage of 60s film heroes in that mould around the subject this is attempting to spoof. Goodness, even Maxwell Smart had a passable physicality."
Andrew L. Urban

Email this article

AUSTIN POWERS (M) 15+
(US)

 

CAST: Mike Myers, Elizabeth Hurley, Michael York, Mimi Rogers, Robert Wagner

DIRECTOR: Jay Roach

PRODUCER: Suzanne Todd, Demi Moore, Jennifer Todd, Mike Myers

SCRIPT: Mike Myers

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Peter Deming

EDITOR: Debra Neil-Fisher

MUSIC: George S. Clinton

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Cynthia Charette

RUNNING TIME: 95 minutes

 

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: August 21, 1997

AUSTRALIAN VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Entertainment

AUSTRALIAN VIDEO RELEASE: February 24, 1998







© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2017