By Allison Jones, For The Miami Student
If you’re looking for a stimulating film that will make you think, “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” is not the movie for you. However, if what you want is easy entertainment sure to get you laughing, then it is definitely worth a watch.
It starts off as your average, everyday spy movie but is quickly shown to be anything but. On the contrary, it proves to be a ridiculous spoof of James Bond and other action clichés.
The story starts with Dr. Evil (Mike Myers) cryogenically freezing himself, to be thawed out 30 years later in 1997, in order to escape his super spy nemesis and live to take over the world another day. Unfortunately for Dr. Evil, said nemesis Austin Powers (also Myers) decides to freeze himself as well, in hopes of thwarting Evil’s plans in the future.
Both of Myers’ characters are forced to face the realities of missing 30 years, while simultaneously remaining completely out of touch with reality. Rather than focusing on epic fight scenes, car chases and last minute rescues, the characters’ failures are due to their own ineptness rather than interference from their enemies.
Powers gets so caught up in trying to charm ’90s girls with his ’60s style that he rarely gets around to remembering his mission. He states with concern that, “I’ve been frozen for 30 years. I’ve got to see if my bits and pieces are still working.”
While cocky and flirtatious lines are a hallmark of any spy movie, a classically handsome fellow in a well fitting suit is usually the one to use them. Hearing those same lines from Myers, dressed in eccentric ’60s garb, has quite a different effect. Rather than seeming suave and debonair, it causes the audience to laugh and question the sanity of any woman that may fall for him.
While Powers is distracted from his mission by beautiful women, Dr. Evil is similarly sidetracked from his goal by issues in his daily life. He discovers that his son hates him for his absence, and is repeatedly told by employees that his schemes are outdated and unprofitable.
The relationship between Dr. Evil and his son, Scott Evil (Seth Green) is tense and awkward to say the least. However, rather than taking away from the humor of the film, their messy relationship adds a new layer of banter and familial competition. Evil is constantly shutting down everything his son wants, and is openly disappointed in his son’s lack of evil aspirations.
While most spy movies are mainly action, interspersed with moments of comedy, “Austin Powers” is almost completely the opposite. As a result, the movie is good for more than a few laughs.
However, if, like me, you’re made uncomfortable at the awkward embarrassment of characters, then prepare to cringe quite a bit.
Between Myers’ clothing choices, outdated slang, and inability to make an effective plan, I was left feeling embarrassed on his behalf more often than not.
While his unfortunate attempts at flirting and tendency to over-share were amusing at first, they eventually grew tiresome. The film made up for these moments with witty one-liners, likeable characters and enough James Bond references to excite any movie buff.
“Austin Powers” is a medley of genres, combining comedy with action, just a splash of sci-fi and near-constant attempts at romance. So, no matter your genre of choice, there’s something in it for everyone.
“Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” will be shown on Wednesday, Sept. 16 at 8:30 p.m. in Central Quad.