Movie Magazine International

Austin Powers:
International Man Of Mystery

"Movie Magazine International" Review

(Air Date: 5/97)

By Monica Sullivan

Mike Myers grew up worshipping the sixties for their style and pace, not to mention all four of those lousy Matt Helm movies and the worst James Bond flick ever, 1967's "Casino Royale." The result is "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery", a movie that looks great and sounds stupid. The director is Jay Roach, helming his first feature after doing second unit work on a couple of films. Roach is married to Bangle Susanna Hoffs, who made one terrible movie called "The All Nighter" ten years ago, directed by her mother. You can see Hoffs and Matthew Sweet in the film as musicians in Austin Powers' band, Ming Tea, but neither has any dialogue. Unfortunately, Myers, who wrote this thing after favorably impressing his cousins as a child at family functions, DOES have dialogue, quite a lot of it, in fact.

Anything that involves penile enlargement, boobs or toilets is funny and you can't get too much of a good thing, so you repeat the same jokes and gags over and over again until you have audiences rolling in the aisles with hysterics (or is it snoring in the aisles with boredom)? Myers is so bad, so yucky and so UNfunny that he makes his onscreen partner, Elizabeth Hurley, look quite charming, delightful and amusing in comparison. Whether Hurley really is, in fact, all of the above, we'll have to see her in a better movie for independent verification. In the sixties, we had Donald Pleasence and Telly Savalos as Ernst Blofeld, each petting a beautiful white cat, but they don't get around much anymore, so now we have Mike Myers as Dr. Evil with a hairless cat playing opposite Mike Myers as Austin Powers with a hairy chest. The press kit says all this is "in the tradition of comic greats like Peter Sellers."

What is it about some of the Saturday Night Live alumni who consider each and every fart to be as amusing to ticket buyers as it is to themselves? They need sidekicks, they need b./s. detectors on the payroll, they need lines, ducky: Why not pay Carrie Fisher for some writing lessons instead of casting her in a dumb cameo? And Tom Arnold in the next men's room stall does not a comedy masterpiece make. Real sixties icons appear here, presumably for fat fees: Michael York, Robert Wagner, Burt Bacharach, Charles Napier. Susannah Hoffs sings "The Look of Love." Fembots shoot bullets out of their bras and blow up because Mike Myers is too sexy for his ruffled shirt and crushed velvet suit. He's a photographer, a pop icon, a spy and the villain AND we suspect he wants to make Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery, Part Two. Don't encourage him! What's good enough for his cousins ain't good enough for the silver screen!

Copyright 1997 Monica Sullivan

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