Monday, January 13, 2014

01/13: Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

Ah yes, one of my all-time favorite trilogies. I make it a priority to watch all 3 within 2 days, every other year. Two weeks ago when I was sick I went ahead and watched them on UV. And really, what's not to like about the Austin Powers trilogy? The quotes, the characters, the retro-ness, the awesomely evil evil villians? Or just go live under your rock.

Where shall I start? Shall we shag? Nah, we start in 1967, where we don't know until the end of the trilogy how Austin and his nemesis Dr. Evil (both played in a dual role by Mike Myers) became enemies. But Dr. Evil's main goal is to kill superspy Powers, in any ways possible. And we see throughout the trilogy, as pointed out by his son Scott, he doesn't take advantage of the situation when he can. Evil becomes frozen in '67 as Austin follows suit, only to become defrosted 30 yrs later and continues his world domination plans. Austin teams up with Vanessa Kessington (who is his 60s partner's daughter) to uncover the mysteries about Dr. Evil around Vegas. (SPOILER ALERT: At one point I even tried watching throughout the movie to see how could she be a fembot, as pointed out at the beginning of the sequel?) Throughout the movie you get treated to great comedy, sex jokes, Mike Myers trying to be 'all that' (in a funny way), and just plain silliness. The soundtrack seems very fitting as well, though I could have added a few more songs to fit the mood of the film.

I'll admit it. I remember sometime in '97 when this movie came out, but in a low-key way. It wasn't highly publicized, but I looked at the preview and the picture and I go: 'Is that really Mike Myers? What kind of a lame-ass movie is this gonna be?' I was a freshman in high school at the time, and later that year I overheard a couple of my classmates saying how hilarious the movie really was. I even recall at Blockbuster when I was browsing they were showing previews on the screens above, and some kid kept saying to his friend, 'Shhh, this is a funny part...'. Needless to say, that led to my curiousness about the movie. My sister bought it on VHS sometime in '98, and one night I finally watched it. And it won me over. Not only was I proven wrong, but I was convinced this was meant to be an underrated, under-publicized comedy at the time. After all, this was during a year where it was hard to compete with blockbusters like Batman & Robin (I know, I know), Air Force One, Titanic, etc. I think it was in late '98 when I watched it again and my sister came in the room and she said 'you know they're gonna make a sequel to this, right? And it's coming out next summer!'. I was stoked, obviously.

And of course, you got Mike Myers style of comedy. It's difficult to believe this is the same guy who, just a few years before, was Wayne Campbell and in the Saturday Night Live cast. Myers once said he wanted to do a 'retro movie' and he got the idea while driving through the Las Vegas strip and on the radio was Dusty Springfield's version of 'The Look of Love'. The rest is all history. You can also tell Myers' love of different characters as he well-crafted Austin Powers.

My rating: 7 out of 10 stars

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