Austin Powers : The Spy who Shagged me (1999)

Rating : 

After the huge success of the first movie a sequel was always going to come around and so it did in 1999. Starring Mike Myers once again as the title character and main bad guy Dr. Evil and with a whole string of new henchmen and spies the second movie attempted to do what the first one did bigger, better and faster.

For the most part it still worked. You won’t find many people who rank it higher then the original but then again its very unusual for any movie to be ranked as high as the original. The film had its moments but sometimes it felt like it spent too long trying to emulate a joke that worked because of how subtle it was in the first movie. It took “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” but decided to go with “if it worked then make sure you whack the audience over the head with it constantly the whole movie.”

The partnership between Ms Kensington and Austin was lost, it turns out Vanessa was always a Fembot sent to destroy Austin and the whole “we already knew” moment was completely ignored straight after it happened. In comes Heather Graham as Felicity Shagwell. It isn’t that she’s a terrible character and Graham really works in the setting, no the problem is that it never feels like they are working together or really have any kind of connection. Part of this is down to the story of Austin losing his Mojo but a great deal of it is because their time together isn’t really seen through them doing things but montage’s of them “falling in love” and so on.

As much as I liked Shagwell she was inferior to Kensington in many ways.

Dr. Evil had to evolve as any long running bad guy will the problem is he evolved into Austin Powers Mark II as Fat Bastard (played by Myers) was introduced and become much more the different offering. By the end of the film it was hard to see Dr. Evil anything more then the evil version of Austin Powers and he’d stopped being a parody of Bond villains and more a parody of himself. He went from being a great villain to a complete joke.

The film saw both Dr. Evil (his iconic clone played by Verne Troyer, Mini-Me as well as Scott Evil) and Austin go back to the 60s. Dr. Evil to steal Austin’s Mojo and put a laser on the moon and Austin to save his Mojo and stop Dr. Evil. Instead of having a whole different decade to explore the whole thing felt completely lacking in any kind of depth. The jokes weren’t as funny, the characters weren’t as engaging and when I’m bored of watching Rob Lowe you know you’ve done bad because I’m NEVER bored of watching Rob Lowe…. Other then in this move unfortunately.

It had great moments though, some moments I remembered to be better then they are, maybe they just got more stale with the passing of time.

In the end though the whole film felt like one big slap in the face to the first. I’m not saying it was meant to be obviously but especially watching them one after the other you see things that were done brilliantly in one become over used and unfunny in the second. Everything that made the first one so brilliant was just abused in the second one leaving you not feeling half as content as you did whilst watching the original.

It wasn’t really that groovy baby.

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