Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me 1999 ★★★

I found this movie to be better than my memory had led me to believe, although it is a step down from the original. Sadly, like so many sequels, it seems to have missed what made the original a good movie. Instead of a witty script and a smart satire, we have an attempt to give the audience more of "what they liked the first time", while completely misunderstanding what that was. It also tries to "plus" the first movie, but adding more characters and a more convoluted plot.

Perhaps the first mistake was replacing Elizabeth Hurley with Heather Graham. While I completely understand the need to kill of Hurley's character (like James Bond, you could never have a married Austin Powers), there must have been a better actress than Graham. It's not her character that is bad; she's the complete opposite of Hurley's character, which is an interesting idea, but Graham is so bad an actress that she can't even sell her lines in a comedy.

So many of the jokes in this movie fall flat, but I was surprised that some of them did hit home. It wasn't a lot, but it was more than I remembered. I have never seen the third movie in this series, but since this was better than I remembered, I'm going to try the third movie. I'll see if the series continues to deteriorate, or if there was some course correction after this installment.

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