Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)

Spy spoofs are certainly nothing new.  This one keeps it lowbrow and yet is surprisingly knowledgeable about previous spy movies.  If Mike Myers wrote it all himself then he doesn’t get enough credit for the work he put into it.  He’s taken us forwards instead of backwards.  Instead of doing a modern movie set in the past, he conjured up a scheme to get a 1960’s villain and hero to our times and set them loose to run amok.  This would fall into the professional spy category of moral authority but set in an era where that’s not as respected.  The MOD even has him sign forms to legally separate him from them.  It’s an obvious fish out of water movie but I found myself actually feeling bad for him after his rejection by Vanessa (and thereby our modern times).  He never asked for this world, never expected it and yet gave it all up in the hopes of being useful to some future generation.  And what does he get?  Ridicule and mockery.

On the other hand, we are delivered classic Mike Myers moments of “oh look at me, I’m adorably hilarious”, logical problems blithely glossed over and Elizabeth Hurley giggling all the time like Jimmy Fallon on SNL.  Sometimes the story drags, sometimes the jokes don’t work, sometimes you don’t like the movie.  But there’s enough good to outweigh the bad and the cumulative effect is an enjoyable movie.

It’s sort of like if Mel Brooks’ mediocre brother filmed a threesome between Spione, Dr. No and Harry Palmer.

Of course watch it but don’t be surprised if it doesn’t live up to any hype.  It’s just supposed to be a funny parody.