Movie Review

Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery

Reviewed by: Heather Black
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Comedy
Length:
89 min.

Starring: Mike Myers, Elizabeth Hurley, Michael York, Mimi Rogers, Robert Wagner / Director: Jay Roach / Released by: New Line Cinema

I am not sure if this movie should even be given the honor of being reviewed on this site, but I think there may be some out there who might appreciate the information (i.e. parents of teenagers).

I am a 21 year old female. My boyfriend (26) and I went to see Austin Powers… and walked out after 30 minutes.

The basis of the movie is that Austin Powers (Mike Myers of “Saturday Night Live”), an English type of James Bond, is battling his enemy, Dr. Evil (also played by Mike Myers). The year is 1967. Dr. Evil is sent into space in a “Big Boy” statue so Austin freezes himself through cyrogenics. In 1997 people learn that Dr. Evil is returning to earth so they de-thaw Austin. Austin is aquainted with his ex-lover’s (one of MANY) beautiful daughter, who is going to give Austin information on Dr. Evil’s plans. Austin feels it is his quest to get her to have sex with him. In the mean time Dr. Evil learns that Austin is back and is out to get him.

Because we walked out on this one, I don’t know precisely how the story ends, but I can recommend great caution. From the previews, the movie appears fun/silly, a “no-brainer”—type. Throughout the movie (at least what I saw) EVERY, and I do mean EVERY comment made by Austin is sexual in nature. He refers to himself as the “twig and two berries” (among other things) and an enemy of his is named “Alota Fagina.” This character cannot speak to a woman without strongly “coming on” and inviting her to have sex with him.

This review is meant as a warning for Christians, especially parents! If you seek to walk by the Word of God and in the paths that Jesus exemplified, avoid this movie. I truly regret going myself.

Year of Release—1997

Viewer Comments
I believe that although Austin Powers contained material that was sexual in nature, Mr. Powers' lustful attitude and free love mentality were revealed throughout the film to be irresponsible and destructive. The humor was not haughty in nature; the jokes were not intended so that the audience would mock ideas of virtue but instead the laughter was a result of people knowing that promiscuity is wrong and laughing at the fact that Mr. Powers still didn’t get it.

Indeed, in the end Austin declares that free love had to be abandoned for responsibility, a virtue that might not be followed in the ’90s but which he at least proclaims is the new “groovy” alternative to the more hedonistic activities of his past.

Also, Vanessa, Mr. Powers' love interest in the movie, follows her mother’s example and manages to hold off Austin’s sexual advances (the original reviewer inaccurately communicated that Mrs. Kensington was one of Austin’s former lovers—not true). Only until after they are married do Vanessa and Austin know each other. If the reviewer had understood how “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” did not glorify, but instead ridiculed improper sexual attitudes, perhaps she would have been able to take something away from the movie besides the fact that Mr. Powers spoke about sex a lot.

He had a problem with lust and the movie showed how bad this was and how he became a changed man in the end. The rating should be raised to a 2… it is a comedy for adults but it is by no means as offensive as films such as Event Horizon or Object of my Affection.
—Nicholas Hladek, age 18
I would like to agree with Donald, who pointed out that this movie is simply a spoof of the James Bond films of the sixties and seventies. Myers' blatant, oversexed character is simply a reflection of Ian Fleming’s hero. As for those who have reviewed and attacked this movie without riding it out to the end, I would like to advise a little more objectivity in future reviews. I myself am eighteen, and not a Christian, and I enjoyed this movie.

While I admit that Myers crosses the line a few times, I do not see this movie as being a significant threat to my upbringing. Film fans who need people to tell them what to watch in order to live a healthy day-to-day life may find such reviews useful. Film fans who are curious about the actual content of the movie might find such a quick judgment lacking.
—Matt Blair, age 18
There is no denying that this film had a vast amount of sexual refernces. I find it humorous that many are saying “sexual innuendos.” Sexual innuendo? “Innuendo” implies a hidden or double meaning. These were pretty much direct references! But what would you expect? The movie is about an international sex symbol of the ’60s. There was no more sex than is to be expected, and (unlike other movies which are PRAISED on this Web site) there was NO NUDITY.

I’m sorry, but I am not entirely sympathetic to someone who went to this movie, knowing that it was about a sex symbol in the ’60s, and then was offended by some sexual references in it! What were you expecting to see? The movie was an accurate and humorous portrayal of a 60’s man who was thrown into the generation of the ’90s.
—Caleb L. Simpson, age 19
Just wanted to thank you for the site and to agree with those who reviewed “Austin Powers:International Man of Mystery.” Like your reviewer, my wife and I were tempted to walk out… but we kept hoping the film would get better. It didn't. I actually fell ASLEEP toward the end—which I’ve never, ever done in a movie theater before. Never mind the fact that the lead character’s only interest was having sex… Even if I weren’t a Christian with stong convictions about this, I still would have considered this inane, boring, humorless film a complete waste of celluloid.
—Phil Newman
In Mike Meyers fashion this movie was funny but could have done without all the sexual suggestiveness. Unlike his “Wayne’s World” movies where the teen set could watch and get a good laugh… Lots of corney 60’s sayings but funny. Warnings would be for those under 18 for its sexual suggestiveness.
—Leslie, age 33
While vacationing in New York City, I decided to kill a couple of hours and catch a movie. I like Mike Myers, so I decided to go watch his latest film. to my surprise sexual inuendo was the hi-light of this film. And if it wasn’t for the inuendo it could have been a very enjoyable film.
—Louie Palermo, age 28
Just a note to say thanks to the reviewer for admonishing the body of Christ wisely. I certainly love a good comedy, but hate nothing more than going to a movie and being regailed by non-stop filthiness and innuendo. Those Christians who think that practical holiness is only required of the “weak” and that the “strong” can simply shrug off the effects of foul speech should spend a little time meditating on Pauls words in Eph. 5:3-4: But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. Thanks again for the honest review (and the courage to walk out of the movie when it proved to be too much!)
—D. Peterson, age 31
Despite the negative reviews given by fellow Christians, I decided to brave “Austin Powers,” and although there were a few jokes I did not agree with, I found it an interesting way to spend my evening. The fact that Powers can do nothing but try and pick up women was a jab at both Bond movies, and the 60’s sexual revolution in general. I believe this point was missed completely.
—Donald, age 24
I was disgusted with Austin Powers after only seeing the previews while at a theater to watch another movie. I sure didn’t pay to see it. Thanks for the reviews; they seem honest and accurate.
—Kim Morphis, age 23
As a slapstick fan, I was really disappointed with this sick and perverted movie. I expected good slapstick like in “Hot Shots Part Deux”, but this movie left me disgusted. Another thing was how the young ladies around me put up with their dates, who just died laughing at the on screen sick humor. If I had more hands, this movie would get more than two thumbs down… no entertainment value whatsoever!
—Milo, age 22
I have to agree with the reviewer. My husband and I also walked out after 30 minutes of viewing this so-called comedy. We were expecting a spoof of the spy films of the sixties and seventies and found nothing funny, redeeming or even remotely entertaining about this movie. What little of it we saw was vulgar and distasteful. What a waste!
—Donna Kristiansen, age 47
I just want to say thank you for this review. This movie was (unfortunately) recommended to my husband. I’m so glad to have read your review before we went. This is what I was hoping for in this site.
—Alisa Bard, age 24
Comments from young people
…Mrs. Kensington was happily married and was NEVER one of Austin’s lovers. She declines to even model for him (he is a fashion photographer) because her husband doesn’t favor it, and certainly doesn’t sleep with him. Her daughter also rejects Austin’s advances until they are married.

She tells him quite clearly that she doesn’t like his attitude towards women and she would never marry a person like that. He responds in a positive way, by deciding it is right to be with only one person. I am not saying this movie was stellar; it was nothing of the sort.

There were a lot of sexual jokes and partial nudity (though nothing graphic was ever actually seen). Though it is probably not the most appropriate movie, it had basically good messages and was very entertaining…
—anonymous, age 14
I also made the mistake of going to see this movie. I have a policy of not watching R-rated movies, and I strongly believe that this movie’s rating of PG-13 is misleading. If you have a choice of going to see this movie or staying home, stay home!
—Amber Mann, age 17