Apr 28, 2017

The Hollywood Reporter Celebrates 20 Years of Austin Powers

Its reputation irreparably harmed by sequels of astonishingly diminishing quality and catchphrases done to death by a generation of frat boys and office drones in grating put-on accents, reduced as if by choice to the image of a discount Halloween costume consisting of bad teeth, a Union Jack Speedo, and a fecund chest merkin, it's sometimes sadly easy to forget that Jay Roach's Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery was not only a bona fide comedy classic, but something of a minor masterpiece. And as much as Jack Ryan or Nikita might beg to differ, it certainly ended up being the defining spy movie of the Nineties. It's also somewhat hard to believe, at least for someone who came of age to a soundtrack of Britpop and trip-hop during the Clinton Administration, that it's twenty years old this week. But it is. It's been that long since Mike Meyers' singular creation managed to simultaneously send up and pay homage to everything Sixties and British from The Beatles to Jason King to Harry Palmer to, of course, Agent 007, in the process forever ruining puns for future Bond actors. Sure, there are plenty of people to this day unaware that their ringtone actually comes courtesy of Derek Flint, not Austin Powers, but there are also plenty of people who never would have discovered Flint or The Avengers or Casino Royale or just about anything covered on this blog had it not been for the Meyers movie. So it's a movie well deserving of the lavish and rather wonderful oral history devoted to it in The Hollywood Reporter this week. Check it out. It's definitely worth a read for spy fans!

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