Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

Bomb Rating: 

Having been away from the film business for four years, Mike Meyers appears to have forgotten quite a few things about filmmaking. And storytelling. And joke writing. As a service to Mike and other actors whose careers spiral perilously closer to the toilet of doom with each successive bad feature, I'd like to provide a brief synopsis of important terms to remember:

  • Yawn: This is the odd sound an audience makes when unfunny jokes go on for an endlessly long time (a comedic technique perfected by Meyers' own "Saturday Night Live," not coincidentally). For instance, when secret agent Austin Powers (Meyers) is thawed from his 30-year cryogenic freeze, he takes an interminably long leak. One can only imagine Meyers, like a true artiste, fighting with the studio for the right to include that additional two minutes of "pee-pee noise."
  • Going to the well once too often: An expression usually used during baseball games when a pitcher throws the same pitch twice and gives up a hit. In Mike's case, the dimming nature of his creative spark is revealed as he repeats all his jokes numerous times. The "Laugh In" segues and the conspicuously placed objects that block Austin's and Agent Kensington's (Elizabeth Hurley) private parts are overused to the point that you'll wish Meyers would just stick with the pee-pee noise.
  • Action: No matter how cute you think you are, "action" is always a nice way to keep members of the audience from scratching each other's eyes out for want of something to do. If you're spoofing the secret-agent genre, go ahead and spend the extra $2.50 and make your movie seem like something other than a badly-paced "Saturday Night Live" skit.

If "Austin Powers" is the best Meyers could do after four years of brainstorming, maybe next time he should take a forty-year hiatus -- on a desert island.

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