Most sequels do not live up to the original movies. Among the notable exceptions are Aliens, Godfather II and the Star Wars trilogy.
Now, there is another to add to the list, Austin-Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.
This second outing for the spy from the sixties is in many ways superior to the original. Of course, the humor is still sophomoric and juvenile but that is part of the fun.
In this ‘plot’ the infamous Dr. Evil has returned from his cryogenic exile in space to once again try to take over the world (yes Pinky we are going to do what we do every night… take over the world).
This time he has a time machine (for those of us older enough the Irwin Allen classic ‘Time Tunnel’ will come to mind.) He takes his miniature clone, Mini-Me, with him back to 1969 to steal the ‘mojo’ from the frozen Austin Powers.
The Ministry of Defense sends Austin Powers back to stop him. What ensues is a map capped farce of almost every sixties spy flick made. References to these films are shamelessly peppered in Austin Powers 2 for many little inside jokes.
Once again Mike Myers wrote and stars in Austin Powers 2. He plays three roles this time, Powers, Evil and a grossly overweight Scotchman. Third Rock from the Sun’s talented Kristen Johnston as a Russian spy joins him briefly.
The main female lead is handled tongue in cheek by Heather Graham (Boogie Nights, Drugstore Cowboy). She is the American counter part to Austin and just as quick with the one-liners as Myers.
There are numerous cameo appearances including Jerry Springer as himself presenting a show on ‘Father's that want to take over the world’.
Seth Green reprises his role as Scott Evil, the son of Dr. Evil and his main critic. Scott is always pointing out to his confused father that terms from the nineties just don’t work in the sixties.
The shinning star in Austin Powers 2 is Rob Lowe. He plays Number Two (Robert Wagner) in the sixties. His imitation of Wagner is perfect right down to the body language and inflection of his voice.
Jay Roach once again takes the helm and has the formable job of holding all the elements of this film in some semblance or order. He does a good job although at time the pacing of the film drags a bit and some of the gags seem to go on a bit too long.
The disc itself is reference quality. The Dolby 5.1 sound is far better than in the first movie. The surround speakers are put to better use and the sub woofer gets more play.
The video is fantastic. The extras really set this disc apart not only from the first one but also from most other DVDs out there. There are many extras.
A commentary track with Myers and Roach provide a lot more information than the one in the first movie. There are three full music videos, Madonna’s Beautiful Stranger, Lenny Kravitz’ American Woman and an almost forgettable video from Mel C. of the Spice Girls.
The first two videos are great in Dolby 2.0 surround sound. The disc is also set as a DVDROM with the full Austin Power’s website contained on the disc.
This one stands on its own as a keeper.
by Doug MacLean of hometheaterinfo.com
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