After 95 minutes of Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, I was sure that there was only 30 minutes of real comedy in this film. The other 65 minutes is awfully unfunny filler material. I admit I’m have a soft spot for dumb-comedies, much like There’s Something About Mary, but when the makers of a dumb-comedy run out of comedy it’s just dumb.
he Spy Who Shagged Me starts off where Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery finishes. Austin (Mike Myers) Powers is faced with a surprise attack by a familiar carry over character from the original film. After the attack he discovers that he’s lost his “mojo”. As it turns out, Dr. Evil (Mike Myers) has created a time machine and has traveled back in time. And it is in the past that Dr. Evil has stolen Austin Power’s mojo. Dr. Evil has a small sidekick this time around too, Mini-Me (Verne Troyer) who is an exact duplicate of Dr. Evil only smaller. A subplot involves Dr. Evil’s son who feels neglected by his father because his father is giving more attention to Mini-Me. Austin must recover his mojo, so he travels back in time too. When he arrives in the past, CIA agent Felicity (Heather Graham) Shagwell joins him. Together they set out to spoil Dr. Evil’s plans of world domination and to recover Austin’s mojo.
My major complaint with this Austin Powers film is that it is purely unfunny material punctuated by some intensely funny moments. The film also tries to get some laughs with crude jokes like the ones found in There’s Something About Mary, but for the most part these jokes fail in Austin Powers. The script by Mike Myers and Michael McCullers is bland, unfunny, and way too long. The direction by Jay Roach doesn’t help either, his pacing of the film is horrible, leaving me to look at my watch many times during the showing wondering when the next laugh is or when the end is.
Myers plays a few of the characters in the film and does fine with most of them. He’s nothing special on screen. Heather Graham does what she can with the Barbie Doll-like character she’s given. Her part requires nothing but for her to prance around with a gun and costumes designed to show as much cleavage as possible – telling you just who the target audience of this film is. I enjoyed Graham’s performances in other films, such as Boogie Nights and even Lost in Space, but this film is just a terrible waste of her talents. The best thing about this film, and this is a hard find in such an intolerable film, is Mini-Me. This character is one the funniest parts of the film and I enjoyed it.
One issue that bothered me with this film is the MPAA rating of the film as a PG-13 film. With the heavy sexual innuendo, some of it quite blatant (like the rocket ship that Dr. Evil travels in), this film should have been rated R. But, I’m guessing that the producers of the film pulled some strings to get a PG-13 rating so that the film could open to the target age group: young impressionable boys who would understand some of the moronic comedy in this film. Still, this film shows just how MPAA ratings don’t fit some films. If you’re a parent and you have younger children wanting to see this film, don’t let them, this film is not appropriate for them.
No matter, this film invokes either a love or hate relationship with the audience, I’m in the latter group. A moronic film that is 30 minutes of comedy and 65 minutes of filler material, this film is an abysmal entry into the summer movie lineup. Even if you’re old enough to see this film, Skip, Skip, Skip it. Skip it in the theatres at full price, Skip it in the theatres at matinee, and Skip it on video. Austin Powers is shagless.