I’m not the biggest fan of spoofs and generally speaking I think my sense of humour runs along a different route than the majority of people, but when it comes to the Austin Powers films and Mike Myer’s multiple performances I have to say LOL!
I absolutely adore the Austin Powers films. I hadn’t realised until quite recently that the first film is nearly 20 years old. I thought I’d seen it soon after it had come out, but it must have been a few years later when it was doing the rounds on the television, because while my parents never sheltered me, the dirty humour in Austin Powers is certainly nothing they would have let me see before I was at least in High School (in the UK you start High School at 11)
Having seen all the films again recently, considering they are spoofs and have a lower overall quality of film production, the films have not dated at all. The jokes are still funny, and for a comedy that is a massive achievement. Personally the fact I still laugh at them years later is a great indicator of their quality, because comedy bores me very easily, but Austin Power doesn’t.
I think the secret behind the longevity of Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery is that the film doesn’t take itself too seriously, and the subject matter they are spoofing has also stood the test of time. The majority of the references are to the classic James Bond films, which are still much beloved, as well as other more minor shows like the 1970s British TV show The Avengers.
The film widely stereotypes its characters and even its time periods, especially the swinging 60s, but it does so in a way that doesn’t compromise the integrity of the characters or the plot. I was particularly charmed when watching the film when Austin Powers refuses to even kiss Vanessa when she’s drunk because he knows she not in full control. I can’t imagine James Bond, even a modern Bond doing that.
The film is just utterly brilliant because it is about respecting the genre it is taking the mickey out of, but doesn’t do so at the expense of the original characters Mike Myers and his team created. They made them multi-dimensional characters of their own, who drop puns at a rate of knots, to great side splitting effect.
If you haven’t seen it in a while go back, because the International Man of Mystery is still funny and Mike Myers is still amazing.