Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

“I hinted about a possible add on to the James Bond project. This is what I was talking about: Austin Powers. The whole franchise is a ginormous Bond spoof. I found this cool article that spells out a lot of the references. What I find absolutely brilliant about Powers, is that unlike most parodies, you don’t need to know Bond to appreciate it.

I’d seen the Austin Powers films so many times before I ever saw a 007, especially Spy Who Shagged Me. I found them so deliciously quotable and hilarious. I knew on some level they were taking jabs at Bond, I just didn’t know the specifics. And I didn’t need to. There’s so much comedy gold without that. The parodies actually worked a bit backwards for me. Instead of seeing an image in Powers and laughing at it for recognizing it’s 007 counterpart, I’d watch Bond films and laugh at references that came to mind from Austin. Also in watching 007, I was able to make sense of some of the Powers details that always seemed a bit off to me.

Although, to be honest, I didn’t like International Man of Mystery that much at first. It’s not because the Bond was lost on me. It’s that I thought it was overly sexed up. At the time, I was kinda sensitive to such things, and it made me uncomfortable. Now that I’m less of a prude, I love it. But really, I’m kinda excited to watch it right now as it was intended: with a full knowledge of the Bond films that shaped it.

Going back to more of the “”live blog”” approach for these since I’m already familiar with the films.

Ha, I love Will Ferrell’s Mustafa. This is before Ferrell was really known, so it was such a happy surprise the first time I went back and rewatched this post-Elf.

I think what I found funniest back in the day were the gags where Austin and Dr Evil weren’t aware of the changes that happened to the world during the time they were frozen. Oh and speaking of Dr Evil, he’s the star of this franchise for me. Austin’s great, but the best scenes are all around Dr Evil. And again, I’ve thought that long before I knew about Blofeld, the Bond villain he’s a direct caricature of.

Even better than Dr Evil is Scott Evil. He really is my favorite character, and not just because I adore Seth Green. Okay that’s a big part of it. But the way they play off each other is brilliant. You dont get much better than the Shh scene, at least not until the next movie. My favorite part of it though, has to be the way that Scott is actually far more evil than his father. And much smarter too. Scott calls his dad out on all of the bull that isn’t working, which usually parallels what doesn’t work for our Bond villains too.

I remember hearing an interview or something about the process filming these movies. Theyd’ get one good scripted take, and then film a couple more with a lot of improv. The bulk of the memorable lines came from those later takes. Word on the street is that Seth Green was the best one at that game.

The ending follows the pattern of oh-wait-there’s-one-henchmen-left-to-deal-with. That’s how a good chunk of Bonds end. There’s a larger that end with Bond and a babe on a boat (err, raft, but boat had alliteration). There’s deleted Austin scenes with that ending.

Oh and for more fun, I found a quiz for guessing if character names were from Bond or Powers. I got 40/46.”

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