Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery ★★★★

I honestly didn't expect it to hold up THAT well, but it does! It's an awesome mix of witty parody and random silliness, made in a time, when comedians could endlessly improvise in front of the camera, but the directors knew how to only use the best bits, that don't make the whole movie overstay its welcome. (aka the pre-Apatow days.)

One of the reasons that it still works, is the perfect cast, right down to the smallest cameo. (Cross eyed Christian Slater still cracks me up.) Mindy Sterling definitely gets the "most underrated" medal here. Her Frau Farbissina is so much fun, even when she is just sitting out of focus in the background, reacting to Dr Evil's shenanigans.

While some of the gags might be a bit too immature and low brow for many people, you have to admire the care that went into stuff like the "hide the nudity" scenes or the whole "henchman meets steamroller" bit, from the way too early scream, to the dissolve into the kitchen, to the conversation that follows.

Okay, the culture clash angle hasn't aged too well. 20 years later (Holy shit!) it's fun too see how much has changed, but then hasn't (Austin's aggressive flirting was already then unwanted and played as "laugh at the sexist caveman", but today Ms Kensington would cry "rape" and tazer his balls!), but even back then you could only get so many laughs out of "Weren't the fashion and beauty standards of the past weird". And the short moments, where they try to actually give Austin some depth, feel out of place and more like a "For the critics" studio note. (Especially considering how relentless silly the sequels are.)

Anyway, this is not just another "Well, it was funny in the 90s" relic, it's actually a damn good slapstick comedy, that deserves a lot more respect.
#140 in 2017

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