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Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery


Yesterday, this column reviewed "Spaceballs," a side-splitting spoof of science fiction films from the 1980s. But if you prefer earthly intrigue to interplanetary adventures, one of the more popular movie spoofs of the 1990s is "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery," which came out in 1997. This movie is the first in a trilogy.

This film stars comedian Mike Myers as the purportedly debonair Austin Powers. The short, ostentatiously dressed overconfident Powers is a parody of James Bond. In the 1960s, he almost catches his nemesis, Dr. Evil (also played by Myers). However, Dr. Evil cryogenically freezes himself and avoids being captured. Because of this, Austin decides to have himself frozen and to be thawed out when Dr. Evil is revived. This happens 30 years later. When he is thawed out, Austin is teamed with the attractive Vanessa Kensington (played by Elizabeth Hurley). Austin, of course, woos her.

Mike Myers is very funny in both roles. We see how both characters struggle to adapt to life in the 1990s. The makeup is very impressive. Austin Powers and Dr. Evil bear no resemblance to each other. Elizabeth Hurley is also strong as Vanessa, who does not like Austin at first, but slowly, she falls for him. Another great performance is by Seth Green, as Scott Evil. Scott usually looks at his dad as an idiot.

The movie does an effective job parodying the James Bond films. Like 007, Austin is a ladies man, but he is not as suave and has bad teeth. Dr. Evil, like several Bond villains, loves his cat.

"Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery" is a great choice for fans of spoofs and spy movies. Like "Spaceballs," it has a lot of love for the movies it parodies.


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