Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me - B-
Viewed Jun 12, 1999 at Lincoln Square

Long live Dr. Evil! The nemesis of the title character may be the second most inspired comic creation of the late Nineties [1], Blofeld reimagined as a variation of Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern: just smart enough to realize that's something amiss, but nowhere near smart enough to know why. Nothing encapsulates the clueless appeal of Evil than the scene in Shagged where he peppers the 60s President with 90s pop culture cliches like "Talk to the hand!". Of course, the 60s Cabinet is completely baffled, but what makes it particularly funny is that in 1999, the phrases are already dated cultural debris; Dr. Evil's attempts at hipness are doomed to failure in any age.

With the exception of Dr. Evil, the new Austin Powers is even more hit-and-miss than its predecessor. The sense of freshness is gone, and Myers is too often content to simply repeat gags from the first with little variation.[2] As Austin's new love interest, Heather Graham as Felicity Shagwell makes such a spectacular and sexy entrance to "American Woman" that it was a while before I realized she had little in the way of comic ability. Even the over-the-top 60s production design is beginning to feel tired. With sketch comedy, you have to settle for the inspired moments and Shagged has enough to warrant a mild recommendation from the unforgettable duet featuring Mini-Me and Dr. Evil to the very funny and raunchy gag where Powers and Shagwell's silhouttes are engaged in very kinky sexual activities.[3]

[1]#1 in a landslide: Max Fischer.
[2]What makes it particularly galling is that the ones that Myers and Roach repeat (like the "zip-it" routine) weren't that good in the first place.
[3]A major problem with the MPAA ratings board is that they're consistently inconsistent. Say a few four-letter words and you're branded with an R. But then you have a film like Austin Powers which contains an extremely raunchy gag that's far more explicit than anything in either Rushmore or Everyone Says I Love You, and gets rated with a PG-13.