May 11, 1997 -- "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery" is a funny spy-film spoof right out of the 1960s. It hearkens back to films such as "In Like Flint," and to television shows like "Get Smart."
The James Bond-like hero, Austin Powers (Mike Meyers) is frozen in the 1960s, along with the arch villain, Dr. Evil (also played by Myers, who wrote the script). When Dr. Evil re-surfaces, Powers is thawed out to stop him.
The film is a lot more clever than it looks like in the trailer. There are a lot of funny gags in the movie, like the scene with Powers and fellow agent Vanessa Kensington (Elizabeth Hurley) on a sort of love bus in Las Vegas being serenaded by Burt Bacharach. There are some funny takeoffs on Bond-like names, such as Lotta Fagina (a takeoff on Pussy Galore).
There is also a funny subplot concerning Dr. Evil and his inability to relate to either his 1990's son or to a world where mere money is more important than power. Somehow, Dr. Evil's dreams of world conquest seem more noble than the corporate greed of his top henchman, Number Two (Robert Wagner).
There are many funny jokes arising from the clash between 1967 values in 1997. Myers is funny in both roles, but the supporting cast of characters in the film is a little weak. Some of the jokes are lame and others miss the target, but that's par for the course in this kind of all-out comedy.
Others in the film include, Tom Arnold as a cowboy tourist, Carrie Fisher as a psychiatrist and Rob Lowe and Christian Slater have bit roles as well. Overall, the film is a lot of fun and there are plenty of laughs. It rates a B.
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