Main cast: Mike Myers (Austin Powers, Dr Evil, Fat Bastard), Heather Graham (Felicity Shagwell), Michael York (Basil Exposition), Robert Wagner (Number 2), Rob Lowe (Young Number 2), Mindy Sterling (Frau Farbissina), Seth Green (Scott Evil), and Verne Troyer (Mini-Me)
Director: Jay Roach
There was a big brouhaha in Singapore over that word “Shagged”, a British slang for the joyful act of procreation. Well, whoever gets offended by that harmless silly word should not come within 500 miles radius of a cinema playing Austin Powers 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me or risk getting a coronary.This one is misogynistic, most politically incorrect, and downright hilarious at times. Unfortunately, unlike its prequel, it isn’t as funny or satirical.
The greatest comedic value of Mike Myers’s Austin Powers lies in, of course, Austin’s deluded sense of his virility and invulnerability. This movie has him in no other way. As usual, the movie starts with a rather hilarious and cringe-inducing Austin Powers wearing only that heart-shaped carpet rug of a fake chest hair mat, romping amidst strategically placed blurred-out patches and phallic symbols like long French bread. Totally… unforgettable! Unfortunately, after that it was an uneven segue of Saturday Night Live-like sketches. Laughs from me are sporadic.
Plot? Is there one? I guess it is something like Dr Evil escaping his cryo-state and with Starbucks behind him, traveling back to the 60’s to steal Austin’s mojo (I want to know what that is too… virility?). Austin follows his nemesis back after telling us not to worry about scientific complications. He meets gorgeous spy Felicity Shagwell (after first meeting Ivana Humpalot and Robin Swallow… oh never mind). They team up to stop Dr Evil and generally get into a lot of ridiculous antics. Austin and Felicity fall in love, but forget any romantic poignancy – this is an Austin Powers movie, remember?
Jokes that work? Mini-me is wonderfully evil as a miniature Dr Evil doppelgänger. There is one really awful yet laugh-out-loud scene involving Austin bending over and Felicity apparently taking out things from an umbrella to a loaded sack from where the sun never shines. Then there is Dr Evil’s phallic-shaped rocket, and gaping observers exclaiming in what turned out to be a mischievous listing of every PG-13 synonym for penis. And the ever reliable Seth Green as Scott Evil is in fine form, from the classic Jerry Springer family reunion scene to him bursting every one of his father’s plots to his sibling rivalry with Mini-Me. And Frau Farbissina and Dr Evil’s awkward morning-after-carnal-love is positively chuckle-inducing. And the best line had to go to Austin Powers, commenting on the “English” scenery around him, “Funny how England looked nothing like Southern California.” The filming was in, after all, Southern California.
Between spoofs of James Bond and every possible spy movie around as well as some Star Wars; The Phantom Menace, Austin Powers 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me is worth a look. But it isn’t as funny as the first one. I can’t help feeling I should have waited for the video.