I was all set to do a write up on the first Austin Powers. Then I checked, and it turns out I’d done it before. And it was a pretty comprehensive post. So we’ll talk about 2 instead. And maybe I’ll do 3 next. Cause I gotta pull these blog posts outta somewhere
Why Austin Powers? The new James Bond, No Time To Die was the first film to have its release date pushed because of the Coronavirus. It got pushed to November back when we thought this thing was contained to Asia and Europe, so theaters were still going full steam ahead here in the US. To fill the gap in their schedule, my beloved Alamo Drafthouse planned to host Austin Powers movie parties on its release date. I had my ticket and I was totally psyched. Well we all know how that story ends, so I decided to just watch not only the first movie but all three over that day and the next.
Okay so I’ve talked about 1 before, but you know what, 2 is actually my favorite. I think fondly of Austin because I love Spy so much. 1 is super reliant on the parody aspect (which it absolutely nails because it’s still hilarious if you don’t know squat about James Bond). 2 is where Austin really starts to pull away as his own character.
It also helps that while 1 is primarily a fish out of water story, 2 puts the fish back in the water. We see Austin back in the 60’s, which is his world, and he is so much stronger for it. Ironically, the plot is about Austin losing his mojo, but his mojo is really strongest here.
To some extent, the three films have kinda blurred together in my head. Or at least I thought I did. It was during 2 that every single line that I love (and often quote to myself in my head) that they all occurred. The writing was just so much stronger. Plus 2 has Mini-Me (RIP Verne Troyer). 1 always feels like a disappointment without that tiny little bright spot.
2 also works on the characters a bit more. Scott starts getting more of an arc. Frau and Number 2 are more than generic henchmen. This is really where the franchise gains momentum. We lose a bit in 3, but we’ll get to that next time.