Powers, the Spy Who Shagged Me" on DVD
Sequels aren't usually
as good as their originals, but Mike Myers' "Austin Powers II"
spy spoof is at least as good - if not better - than the first film.
It's also a terrific
example of the nifty things a studio can do to exploit the DVD medium
and give consumers the most bang for their disposable bucks.
Mike Myers is back
as the swinging 1960's spy and as his nemesis Dr. Evil. He's also along
as Fat Bastard, a foul and disgusting (and extremely well made up) Scot
who's another of the bad guys.
Powers must go back in time to rescue his "mojo" from Dr. Evil
and his henchpeople. Dr. Evil figures that by capturing Powers' "mojo"
he can not only defeat the super spy, but apply the "mojo" to
himself as well. And, according to one "shagadelic" scene, it
appears to work.
only part of Dr. Evil's evil doctoring. He also puts a laser cannon on
the moon, with which to zap cities if he doesn't get paid a handsome ransom.
The laser in space
is right out of "Diamonds are Forever," and many other Bond
staples are sent up in this wild production. Composer George S. Clinton
has even done a terrific job of paying homage to the best moments of John
Barry's terrific Bond scores.
Austin Powers owes
as much to "Our Man Flint" as it does to the Bond movies, however
and as such turns out to be a much better Bond spoof than "Casino
The cast from the
original is back, including Michael York, Robert Wagner, and Elizabeth
Hurley, those their roles this time are hardly more than cameos because
once Powers goes back in time their characters are replaced by younger
versions of themselves.
Heather Graham replaces
Elizabeth Hurley as the love interest this time around. She's Felicity
Shagwell, Powers' CIA opposite number much like Felix Leiter pops up to
help James Bond - except that Leiter's hormones don't extend to wanting
to bed Bond (or, not that we know of, anyway). She's appropriately sexy
and very decorative, but unfortunately her acting is the worst thing about
Rob Lowe more than
makes up for this, however, with his portrayal of a young Number 2. He
spends his time doing his best Robert Wagner impression and it's very
funny. Seth Green returns as Dr. Evil's kid Scott, a character who points
out with gusto all of the plot holes that we've traditionally ignored
in our Bond movie watching.
The humor is unsubtle,
but very, very funny. This is a movie that, if you enjoy this type of
flick, will have you laughing out loud repeatedly.
The widescreen DVD
in in Dolby Digital Surround and the audio and video quality is terrific.
The disc also includes so many extras you'd almost think they'd need a
second disc - even for DVD. DVD extras include a full length audio commentary
by Myers, Roack, and McCullers, about 20 minute so of deleted scenes (some
of which are really funny), a "making of" documentary, music
videos by Madonna, Lenny Kravitz, and Mel B (one of the Spice Girls).
There are also four theatrical trailers and a "Dr. Evil's Special
Features Page" that gives you direct access to some of Dr. Evil's
more human moments.
The only thing wrong
with all this stuff is those damn interactive menus. They're really pulled
out the stops with these ones, including having Myers as Powers take part
in them. Unfortunately, this makes them really slow and cumbersome, so
while we're impressed by their use of the technology, we'd be more impressed
if they'd use it a little more sparingly.
Then there's a whole
DVD ROM component that, also unfortunately, uses the PC Friendly system
that installs a bunch of stuff onto your hard drive. You get the entire
Austin Powers web site "Groove Central" (on the disc itself),
more in depth cast/crew info via the Internet, the movie itself (of course)
and more. More? Yep. There are three episodes from togglethis' "interactive
Austin" game and "Operation Trivia. Both of these extras require
installing software onto your hard drive and then running them separately
from the DVD stuff. In the end, it's just promotional samples for third
party software you can buy.
There's more, but
you get the idea: this disc is loaded, and that's great.
But as much as we're
suckers for lots of extras, this is a movie that makes it on its own.It's
big, bawdy, cheesy, and always very, very funny.
We can't wait for
Austin Powers III.
Austin Powers, The
Spy Who Shagged Me, from New Line Home Video
approx. 99 minutes, Widescreen (2.35:1), Dolby Digital
Starring Mike Myers, Heather Graham, Michael York, Robert Wagner, Elizabeth
Hurley, Written by Mike Myers and Michael McCullers, Produced by John
Lyons, Mike Myers, Directed by Jay Roach
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