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« DVD Review: The Phantom Carriage (1921) | Main | Cult Clip: Kes (1969) »


DVD Review: Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery 10th Anniversary Special Edition (1997)

Austin_10 Is it really 10 years since the world 'shagadelic' came into being? It must be, because Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery 10th Anniversary Special Edition is on the market.

I've got to be honest, I was dreading re-watching this. Time hasn't been too kind to the movie's legacy - the name 'Austin Powers' conjures up images of bad fancy dress costumes and even worse impressions, not to mention those tired old catchphrases. In fact, if someone proposed burying the movie (and its two sequels) underground for 100 years, I would have backed them all the way. But I did watch it again - and you know what? I actually enjoyed it.

Because despite all the baggage, this is a very funny, very well-written comedy spoof. And if you happen to have an obsession for 60s cinema (as I do), there's also the opportunity to bore your friends with a spot of 'reference spotting' from the likes of Our Man Flint, Dr Goldfoot, (original) Casino Royale, The Silencers, Valley Of The Dolls, Girl on A Motorcycle, Smashing Time, Blow-Up and various Bond movies to name just a fraction.

The plot itself - well it's 1967 and super-villain Dr Evil tries and fails to kill secret agent Austin Powers. He flees the scene, freezing himself for the future - a time when there's less free love around and more evil. That year is 1997. And being defrosted at the same time is Austin Powers. Evil has a new scheme - stealing nuclear weapons and holding the world to ransom. Powers is on his tail - but first he has to master a changing world, not to mention a world without free love and tight striped suits.

It's hard not to enjoy it - and watching it again, it's amazing how many good lines and great scenes have probably slipped your memory. And indeed, you might forget what a great cast it has - notably Michael York and Robert Wagner, along with cameos from the likes of Will Ferrell, Carrie Fisher, Burt Bacharach, Rob Lowe and Christian Slater.

But for all that, it is still a film you've probably seen too many times - and one that's been in a few sales in its time. So what's the selling point here? Well, this is a two-disc special edition, so we're talking serious extras. So alongside a Mike Myers commentary, you get a short documentary about the film (mainly the support saying what a great bloke/genius Myers is), a promotional film from 1997, a clutch of deleted scenes and alternate endings, trailers, TV spots, music videos, a rather disappointing spy film retrospective (I was expecting clips, not just a pile of text), details and clips of the cameos in the movie, features on the cast and an interactive quiz.

For me, there's nothing there to make this a worthwhile purchase if you already own it. But if this film has managed to pass you by, it's certainly one you really should watch. It's funny, it's clever and it is still as fresh today as it was 10 years ago - even if the catchphrases are well past their sell by date.

Find out more about the DVD at Amazon.co.uk

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