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Site created 12/15/97.


review added: 11/16/99



Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
New Line Platinum Series - 1999 (1999) - New Line

review by Bill Hunt, editor of The Digital Bits

Enhanced for 16x9 TVs

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me Film Rating: A

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): A/A-/A+

Specs and Features

95 mins, PG-13, letterboxed widescreen (2.35:1), 16x9 enhanced, single-sided, RSDL dual-layered (layer switch at 1:24:37, at the start of chapter 29), audio commentary (with Mike Myers, director Jay Roach and co-writer Michael McCullers), 2 teaser trailers and 2 theatrical trailers, 21 deleted scenes, "behind-the-scenes" featurette, music videos for Madonna's Beautiful Stranger, Lenny Kravitz's American Woman and Melanie G's Word Up, cameo selection and bios, cast & crew bios, Easter Egg: Dr. Evil's "Hidden" special features (including Comedy Central's The Dr. Evil Story and Dr. Evil song selection), DVD-ROM features (including the film's web site, screensavers, desktop schemes, trivia game samples and weblinks), animated film-themed menus with sound and music, scene access (30 chapters), languages: English (DD 5.1 & 2.0), subtitles: English, Close Captioned

I'm afraid that this review is just going to reveal way too much about myself. Oh, whatever. The deal with Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me is this - whether you like this film or not, is almost entirely dependent on whether or not you enjoy crass and disgusting body-function humor. What some people call \\toilet humor// (\\//… finger quotes). Now I'm a guy that laughs at a good fart joke, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Come on… we all do it, right? It's funny. And frankly, I think anyone who turns up their nose at a good fart joke is being dishonest with themselves. Hey - I like foreign films and high-brow humor as much as the next sophisticate, but I'm sorry, the campfire scene in Blazing Saddles is damn funny. So there. Anyway, The Spy Who Shagged Me is Mike Myers run amok, to the millionth power. It's out of control. And I love it.

The plot is as follows: It's the present day, and Dr. Evil (Mike Myers) has returned from his orbiting Big Boy via escape egg. He's back on Earth with his world domination ambitions stronger than ever. While he's been gone, his evil assistant Number Two (played by both Robert Wagner and Rob Lowe - don't ask) has cornered the world coffee shop market and has cloned Dr. Evil himself, creating a "Mini Me". In the meantime, Austin Powers (also Myers) has learned that his new wife Vanessa is really a fembot, so he's a swinging single again. And he's out to stop Dr. Evil, with the help of a sexy CIA operative, named Felicity Shagwell (Heather Graham). But Evil's got other ideas. Using a time machine, he plans to go back to the 1960s to steal Austin Powers' mojo, thus rendering him helpless in the present day. And he's got a metric ton-sized assassin after Powers as well… the vile Fat Bastard (again Myers). Make sense? No? Trust me, it will all fall into place.

The Spy Who Shagged Me is a bit long and uneven, but then so was the original film. This one is absolutely packed with gags, some of which are so outrageous that you can't help but smile. It takes shots at tons of 1960's movies, and just about every spy movie you can imagine, including references to several Bond movies. Myers is in top form in his three roles, and the supporting cast is equally good. Forget Austin Powers - it's Dr. Evil who really stars in this sequel. Much of the humor comes from Evil's interactions with his bumbling henchmen and Mini Me, and his evil plans never quite work as they're intended. Heather Graham is adequate as Shagwell, but really doesn't get to do much except smile seductively and drop innuendos. On the other hand, Verne Troyer is hilarious as Mini Me. Rob Lowe is also surprisingly good as the young Number Two (he nails Wagner's performance), and there are a slew of cameos, among them Tim Robbins, Elvis Costello and Woody Harrelson. I particularly liked the Jerry Springer bit - "Today's topic is, My Father is Evil, and He Wants to Take Over the World!"

This DVD includes excellent anamorphic widescreen video. The color is rich and accurate, with excellent contrast. Picture detail is clean and well rendered, without too much unnecessary edge enhancement. The blacks are deep and nicely detailed as well. Audio is provided in both 2.0 and 5.1 Dolby Digital, and it's also very good generally, despite the fact that this isn't a really active sound field. Dialog is audible and nicely mixed, and there's great bass. Only occasionally do you get much action from the rear channels, but when you do it's fine.

This disc has some really great extras - as good as any you'll find on a special edition DVD. First of all, there's an extremely funny commentary track with Mike Myers, and the director and co-writer. They provide plenty of insights, and there's lots of kidding around between the three of them. What, you didn't know that this film was almost called Austin Powers II: The Wrath of Kahn? The disc also has tons of good deleted scenes - nearly 20 minutes in all. There's an excellent "behind the scenes" featurette which runs about 30 minutes, and includes interviews with the cast and crew. You get music videos for soundtrack songs from Madonna, Lenny Kravitz and Mel B. (aka Scary Spice). There are a pair of teaser trailers, and full length trailers for this film and the original Austin Powers. There's also a good Easter Egg menu page, which gives you access to a number of Dr. Evil special features (if you can't find it, here's a hint - just go to the disc's main special features menu, and don't touch anything for a minute or so). Included among the hidden features are Comedy Central's Canned Ham spyography, The Dr. Evil Story ("Well… it's hard being an evil single parent."), access to the songs Dr. Evil sings in the film, and several pages of notes on Classic Evil Schemes Gone Awry in the spy adventure films of Bond, Matt Helm and Derek Flynt. Finally, the disc has a number of DVD-ROM features, such as screensavers, weblinks, a sample of the Austin Powers Operation Trivia CD-ROM game, the film's complete website and more.

You have to admire this film's sheer audacity. There's some jokes here that just… well, I'm not sure what to think. But there are a LOT of jokes, and a lot of them are very funny. As sequels go, The Empire Strikes Back this ain't. But it's pretty darn good, and I actually laughed harder at this one than the original. Better yet, the DVD is as loaded as any you'll find. All for the low, low price of… one million dollars! Give or take nine-hundred ninety-nine thousand nine hundred and eighty dollars. So why not give it a try? As Fat Bastard might say, "Jus' goo get the freakin' DVD n' pass me the chicken!"

Bill Hunt
billhunt@thedigitalbits.com




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