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Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Sci-Fi | 2 May 1997 (USA)
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A 1960s hipster secret agent is brought out of cryofreeze to oppose his greatest enemy in the 1990s, where his social attitudes are glaringly out of place.

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3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Joann Richter ...
'60s Model
Anastasia Sakelaris ...
'60s Model (as Anastasia Nicole Sakelaris)
Afifi Alaouie ...
'60s Model
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Mod Girl
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Storyline

Austin Powers is a 60's spy who is cryonically frozen and released in the 1990's. The world is a very different place for Powers. Unfortunately for Austin, everyone is no longer sex-mad. Although he may be in a different decade, his mission is still the same. He has teamed up with Vanessa Kensington to stop the evil Dr. Evil, who was also frozen in the past. Dr. Evil stole a nuclear weapon and is demanding a payment of (when he realises its the 90's) 100 billion dollars. Can Austin Powers stop this madman? or will he caught up with Evil's henchman, with names like Alotta Fagina and Random Task? Only time will tell! Written by simon

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

If he were any cooler, he'd still be frozen, baby! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for nudity, sex-related dialogue and humor | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

2 May 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Austin Powers  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$9,548,111 (USA) (2 May 1997)

Gross:

$53,868,030 (USA) (26 September 1997)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The CD that Austin attempts to play on a record player is "Mr. Tambourine Man" by The Byrds. A song originally written and performed by Bob Dylan. See more »

Goofs

When Austin and Vanessa have a glass of champagne in Vanessa's hotel suite, Vanessa is flirting with Austin while holding a champagne glass and drinking from it. One second later, when they drop on the bed, Vanessa's glass is gone without a trace. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dr. Evil: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to my underground lair. I have gathered here before me the world's deadliest assassins, and yet each of you has failed to kill Austin Powers. That makes me angry. And when Dr. Evil gets angry, Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset. And when Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset... people DIE!
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Crazy Credits

The song "Meow Mix - What's Next?" is credited, Performed by Dr. Evil. See more »

Connections

Featured in 20 to 1: Memorable Movie Characters (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

What the World Needs Now Is Love
Written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David
Performed by The Posies
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Neat, blasé comedy which gets the little things right on top of being a fun, energetic experience.
25 August 2013 | by (Hampshire, England) – See all my reviews

The humour at the centre of Austin Powers revolves around the stupidity of its two predominant characters, that is to say its eponymous hero and scheming chief villain. Neither character possess the requisite cans one needs to make up a six pack and yet in this film's mixed up universe, both of them have attained somewhat of a powerful position and the top of their respective fields. The pair, both of whom are depicted with ample relish by Mike Myers, embody a string of physical western traits often synonymous with fictitious heroes and villains, but with boundaries blurred in regards to their emotional states. In Austin Powers, the idea of the heroic cultural icon (who makes friends easily and exudes patriotism via his sports car decked out in the Union Jack) is cruelly undercut by distorted facial features and rampaging nymphomania. Likewise, his arch nemesis Dr. Evil is hideously hunched, scarred and intent on world domination - yet melts when he realises he possesses offspring. The pair of them are complete idiots, and they go about their business incompetently and badly - Powers just happens to always win because he is slightly less of an idiot.

Jay Roach's 1997 film is an amusing spoof, one which predominantly targets that of the spy thriller; more specifically the James Bond franchise, although Powers himself resembles Michal Caine's Harry Palmer, another lead from a British spy series of the 1960s. It remembers that getting the narrative right in these sorts of things is just as important as sending up as much visual material as possible. The tone and excessive use of the voice-over in something like "The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!" are as important to the comedy as anything visually amusing in that film. Likewise with 2009's "Black Dynamite", wherein a narrative regarding the death of the lead's brother and the ridiculously complicated plot to do a governmental drug cover-up was just as crucial in its homage to poorly constructed grindhouse of the 1970s as anything else.

It isn't a well-kept secret that, at the worst of times, stories in James Bond movies have often been derivative and simplistic. Bond movies are, in spite of their prestigious reputation and huge budgets, often mere B-movies dressed up as A-movies. "Powers" depicts a madman looking to erupt each and every volcano in the world for profitable means, something not too far removed from a Bond villain's idea but here played with the sort of happy, absurd energy often missing from a Bond film out of that fact if they don't play that for grimaces, they're going to look quite silly. The film begins in the 1960s and our resident lead's superiority over all whom attempt to vanquish him is reiterated by Dr. Evil in his conversing with several of the world's lead assassins: a ragtag bunch of Arabs, Latin Americans and paraplegics - none of whom have been so far able to kill Powers. Powers himself is a man introduced to us with his own exuberant song and dance number on a London street; a street so free of anything wrongful or nasty, you'd think they were paved with gold had there not been so many instances of a mid-shot being applied.

After a skirmish at a local nightspot, Evil decides to freeze himself so that he may wreak havoc and chaos in the future; Powers additionally so in order to be able to thwart the man – the plot is essentially "Demolition Man". Social issues arise when both men are thawed in 1997, as life in each of the respective decades for the film's lead is pointed out as being very different. While far from a deeply engaging social critique of attitudes towards sexuality and communication, there is a timely sense of realisation during a montage whereby Powers learns of this newfound decade whereby everything he stood for in the past (speech, attitudes and even finger gestures) have effectively been rendered irrelevant. These scenes might very well be the film's best. On one hand, the film has things the wrong way around: people are far more prone to easy, anonymous sex in the present day when compared to forty years ago, where chaste attitudes were encouraged and people often subscribed to it. Furthermore, the sort of dialogue synonymous with Powers in the 60's would be far better suited to this incumbent climate, where the on-going rape of the English language in the form of abbreviations and acronyms making-do for words is the norm.

Unfortunately, the film pulls its punches on any social scientific study in regards to the streets of London; where marching bands, warm smiles, cars decked out in the national colours and dance numbers have seemingly been replaced by swathes of immigrants that has rendered parts of the city as un-British as possible. The film itself is riddled with childish humour and inert remarks, but so what? Powers acts like a maniac in regards to sexual interaction, but resists taking advantage of women when they're drunk and is visibly nervous, even frightened, when the silhouette of a seductive young woman nude dominates his field of vision. My favourite scenes take place at the card table, wherein Powers loses a hand of blackjack with a five following a mean exchange with a baddie and double takes when he hears Alotta Fagina's name for the first time. The film isn't smart but it's smart enough; it knows its limits and never oversteps the mark, it's colourful and loud but never aggressive. There is a competent madness to "International Man of Mystery" and it's quite hard not to enjoy.


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