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Austin Powers (DVD) Review

The brainchild of former Saturday Night Live cast member Mike Myers (Wayne's World, Wayne's World 2), Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery burst onto the Hollywood landscape in 1997 and made a beeline for the cult classic Hall of Fame. A parody/satire of the popular James Bond films of the past several decades, Austin Powers gave birth to a number of quirky and famous characters such as Austin himself, Dr. Evil, Scott Evil, and (later) "Mini-Me". Sporting some of the most outrageous antics and bathroom humor in the history of film, Austin Powers successfully utilizes its play on the James Bond series (because it so parallels the films) to create a memorable movie that will keep you laughing for two hours plus.

Mike Myers plays the role of Austin Powers - international man of mystery. Frozen in a cryogenic chamber since the 1960s, Austin is thawed out in the 1990s in order to take on his arch-nemesis Dr. Evil (who has also been frozen during that time period). A free-love advocate, Austin makes an immediate play for his new partner Vanessa Kensington (Elizabeth Hurley), daughter of his former spy partner Mrs. Kensington (Mimi Rogers).

Meanwhile, Dr. Evil collaborates with his entourage which consists of Number Two (Robert Wagner), Frau Farbissina (Mindy Sterling), and others. He develops a plan to steal a nuclear weapon and hold the world hostage forů one million dollars! No. Make that one trillion dollars!!! To carry out his task, Dr. Evil must not only face down Austin Powers and his beautiful partner, but he's forced to grapple with the common-sense, quasi-evil tendencies of his son Scott Evil (Seth Green) with whom he's constantly fighting. Can Austin Powers save the world? Or will Dr. Evil succeed in holding the world hostage?

The success of Austin Powers is wholly attributable to the unique comic mind of Mike Myers who not only starred in the leading roles, but who also wrote the screenplay. Myers' portrayal of Dr. Evil steals the show with his evil laugh, diabolical grin, and propensity for all things evil (such as "evil petting zoos"). His soliloquy while receiving family counseling with Scott ranks as not only one of the best scenes in the film, but among the best scenes from any comedy film ever made. Elizabeth Hurley also turns in a good performance as Austin's partner Vanessa (doing a far better acting job than the verbally-challenged Heather Graham who always seemed to be reading from cue-cards in the Austin Powers sequel).

Meanwhile, Will Ferrell (of SNL and Elf fame) makes a notable appearance as Dr. Evil's henchman, Mustafa. His is a recurring character in later films. Overall, Austin Powers is one of the funniest films you'll ever see. Unless outrageous comedy is simply not your cup of tea, I can't think of any reason not to recommend this film. Although the sequels are hilarious in their own right, the original is the best (as is often the case), and that's why Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery is a definite must-see film.

Submitted by:

Britt Gillette

Britt Gillette is author of The DVD Report, a movie and TV review site. Source: http://thedvdreport.blogspot.com/2006/02/austin-powers-dvd.html





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