Austin Powers (film series)

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Austin Powers
Austin Powers logo.png
Series logo
Directed by Jay Roach
Produced by Mike Myers
Demi Moore
Jennifer Todd
Suzanne Todd
Written by Mike Myers
Michael McCullers
Starring Mike Myers
Michael York
Robert Wagner
Mindy Sterling
Seth Green
Verne Troyer
Music by George S. Clinton
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release date(s) 1997–2002
Country United States
Language English
Budget $112,500,000
Box office $676,356,278

The Austin Powers series is a series of three American action-comedy filmsAustin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997), Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999) and Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002). The films were directed by Jay Roach; produced, written by and starring Mike Myers as both the title character and the main antagonist Dr. Evil; and distributed by New Line Cinema. The franchise parodies numerous James Bond, Derek Flint, Jason King, and Matt Helm films, characters, and incorporates a myriad of other elements of popular culture as it follows a British spy's quest to bring his nemesis to justice.

The films poke fun at the outrageous plots, rampant sexual innuendo, and one-dimensional stock characters characteristically associated with 1960s spy films, as well as the cliché of the ultra-suave male super spy. Contrary to the handsome, super-smooth leading men of the James Bond genre, Austin Powers is not conventionally attractive (he is especially known for his bad teeth), although female characters in the films seem to find him irresistible.

The general theme of the films is that the arch-villain Dr. Evil plots to extort large sums of money from governments or international bodies but is constantly thwarted by Powers, and (to a degree) his own inexperience with life and culture in the 1990s. In the first film, Austin and Dr. Evil are awakened after being cryogenically frozen for 30 years. Continuing to incorporate cultural elements of the 1960s and 1970s, the second and third films feature time travel as a plot device and deliberately overlook inconsistencies.

Development[edit]

Myers himself has stated in interviews that the idea for Austin Powers came to him one night while driving home from ice hockey practice. Hearing the song "The Look of Love" by Burt Bacharach on his car radio, he wondered "Where have all the swingers gone?", and conceived the character who would become Austin Powers. The first phrase he thought the character might say was "Do I make you horny?" which later did indeed become a catch phrase for the character. He has also disclosed that the character also draws on his recollections of former Radio Caroline DJ Simon Dee who hosted the first real TV chat show in the UK in 1967 which ended with his driving off in a sports car with a young blonde in the passenger seat.

An important inspiration for the series is British super spy James Bond. Myers said of Bond, "I can't even tell you how huge it was in our house ... That's really why I wanted to do Austin Powers. Austin Powers is out of pure love for James Bond".[1] Though he is a Canadian by birth, Myers' parents are natives of Liverpool, England, and Myers holds dual nationality. Although the films parody the plots and characters of 1960s spy movies, the humour is influenced by Myers' British heritage, particularly the Carry On films and the comedic works of Benny Hill and Peter Sellers, of the latter of whom Myers is a self-confessed fan (his favourite films being the Bond spoof Casino Royale and The Party). Influences from Sellers' films are apparent throughout the series; the character of Austin Powers reflects the inspiration of Sellers' portrayal of the character Roger Danvers in the 1972 film There's a Girl in My Soup. Powers' dandyish appearance can also be shown to have been inspired by that of the fictional Jason King – the adventurous character from the ITV Spy-fi series Department S who was featured in the eponymous spin-off series. Other obviously-apparent influences are The Beatles films, The Monkees television series and the "cocktail party" skits from Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In.

Cast and characters[edit]

List indicator(s)

  • A dark grey cell indicates the character did not appear in the film.
Character Film
International Man of Mystery (1997) The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999) Goldmember (2002)
Austin Powers Mike Myers
Doctor Evil Mike Myers
Basil Exposition Michael York
Number 2 Robert Wagner
Frau Farbissina Mindy Sterling
Scott Evil Seth Green
Various Dancers Andreanna Veith
Number 2 in 1969   Rob Lowe
Mini-Me   Verne Troyer
Fat Bastard   Mike Myers
Vanessa Kensington Elizabeth Hurley  
Mrs. Kensington Mimi Rogers  
Felicity Shagwell   Heather Graham  
Foxxy Cleopatra   Beyoncé Knowles
Nigel Powers   Michael Caine
Scott Aukerman (Young)
Number 3   Fred Savage
Goldmember   Mike Myers
Young Austin Powers   Aaron Himelstein
Young Doctor Evil   Josh Zuckerman
Young Basil Exposition   Eddie Adams
Young Number 2   Evan Farmer

Cars[edit]

Powers' "Shaguar"

The series featured two cars–number plates "SWINGER" and "SWINGER2" and collectively dubbed the "Shaguars"–that were portrayed by a 1961 Jaguar E Type and a 2001 XK8 convertible, with a Union Jack paint scheme. The Ministry of Defence creates two cars to transport Powers through time: a psychedelic-rainbow painted 1999 Volkswagen "New Beetle" convertible in the second film, and a purple 1975 Cadillac Eldorado Fleetwood "pimpmobile" (number plate "SWNGR 3") in the third. Additionally, Felicity Shagwell drives a 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray with an American flag paint scheme in the second film and Nigel Powers has a 2001 Mini Cooper – able to travel underwater, and which bears the number plate "GR8SHAG" – in the third.

Reception[edit]

Box office performance[edit]

Film Release date Box office revenue Box office ranking Budget Reference
United States Foreign Worldwide All time domestic All time worldwide
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery May 2, 1997 $53,883,989 $13,800,000 $67,683,989 #1,171 $16,500,000 [2]
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me June 11, 1999 $206,040,086 $105,976,772 $312,016,858 #119
#152[a]
#257 $33,000,000 [3]
Austin Powers in Goldmember July 26, 2002 $213,307,889 $83,347,542 $296,655,431 #110
#188(A)
#283t $63,000,000 [4]
Total $473,231,964 $203,124,314 $676,356,278 $112,500,000
  1. ^ Adjusted totals based on current ticket prices by Box Office Mojo.

Critical reaction[edit]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery 70% (60 reviews)[5] 51% (25 reviews)[6]
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me 51% (85 reviews)[7] 59% (34 reviews)[8]
Austin Powers in Goldmember 54% (182 reviews)[9] 62% (34 reviews)[10]

Media[edit]

Films[edit]

The series consists of three films:

Games[edit]

Video games
Other

Future[edit]

HBO purchased the rights to produce a cartoon series based on the Austin Powers films in 1999. Despite announcing plans for a thirteen episode season, HBO ultimately shelved the project.[11][12][13]

In March 2010, Jay Roach indicated to MTV that Myers is working on ideas for a fourth film.[14][15] When asked about the future of Austin Powers in September 2013, Myers cryptically answered "I’m still figuring that out."[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007. Passion Pictures / Red Box Films. 2014-01-05. 
  2. ^ "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  3. ^ "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  4. ^ "Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  5. ^ "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  6. ^ "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery". Metacritic. CNET Networks, Inc. 2012-09-17. 
  7. ^ "Austin Powers: the Spy Who Shagged Me". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  8. ^ "Austin Powers: the Spy Who Shagged Me". Metacritic. CNET Networks, Inc. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  9. ^ "Austin Powers in Goldmember". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  10. ^ "Austin Powers in Goldmember". Metacritic. CNET Networks, Inc. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  11. ^ Kaplan, Don (1999-05-04). "YEAH, BABY! HBO SINKS TEETH INTO 'AUSTIN POWERS' CARTOON". The New York Post. Retrieved 2010-11-05. 
  12. ^ Seiler, Andy (1999-06-21). "The spy who won't go away HBO will animate 'Austin Powers,' and a third movie is expected". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-11-05. 
  13. ^ Ressner, Jeffrey (1999-06-21). "Cinema: Austin's Power". Time. Retrieved 2010-12-04. 
  14. ^ "Fourth 'Austin Powers' Movie Will Go 'Somewhere You Haven't Though Of,' Jay Roach Says". MTV. Retrieved 2010-10-14. 
  15. ^ "Mike Myers Revives Dr. Evil". MTV. Retrieved 2007-05-09. 
  16. ^ "Toronto: Fleming Q&A’s Mike Myers On ‘Supermensch’ Directorial Debut". Deadline. Retrieved 2013-09-16. 

External links[edit]