Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me is the kind of movie that relies heavily on its audience’s awareness of other movies and pop culture for its humor to succeed. For those in on the joke, particularly fans of cult hit Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, this sequel provides another dose of silly pleasure.
Both films are essentially spoofs of British spy movies with Mike Myers playing the key roles, not only performing as super agent Austin Powers and his demented doppelgänger, Dr. Evil, but serving as writer and creative force.
Benny Hill-style sexual comedy – randy innuendo plus some naughty bits – was only one of the elements in the first Austin Powers, but in The Spy Who Shagged Me, it’s the driving force. Dr. Evil has come to the conclusion that to eliminate Austin Powers, he must take away his mojo. For everyone wondering what Jim Morrison was talking about, Spy defines mojo as the sex drive which provides Austin with his powers. It can actually be siphoned off with a huge hypodermic needle wielded by Fat Bastard, a kilt-clad Jabba the Hutt (Myers in massive latex turning his Scottish schtick into an extended gross-out joke).
Now for all this to happen, several characters must travel back in time, sometimes encountering other versions of themselves, a plot loop that serves as a reminder that little things like logic and continuity don’t really apply in Austin Powers movies.
Better to sit back and enjoy new characters like CIA operative Felicity Shagwell (Heather Graham), whose sex drive eclipses even Austin’s full-force mojo; the return of the not-quite-demon-seed, Scott Evil (Seth Green); and the fact that Mike Myers, co-writer Michael McCullers and director Jay Roach give much more screentime to Dr. Evil, even providing a miniature clone to indulge his rampant narcissism.
From the nudity-skirting opening titles to the very last joke after the credits, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me is goofy fun, a valentine from Canadian Mike Myers to the bright, bawdy Britain of his imagination.
Serena Donadoni writes about film for the Metro Times. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.