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The spy who Gagged me

By Annie Holub
Arizona Daily Wildcat
June 16, 1999
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Arizona Daily Wildcat

photo courtesy of New Line Cinema Mike Myers and Heather Graham work their mojo in "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me."

Arizona Summer Wildcat

The thing that was great about the first Austin Powers movie was that it was silly. It was so silly that my usually cynical friend and I couldn't stop laughing for at least an hour after we saw it.

The thing that was horrible about "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" was that it basically tried to recreate every joke in the first movie, which made it seem like a spoof of itself. And a very un-funny spoof at that.

There were two funny things about the movie: Dr. Evil's clone, Mini-Me, and the little music video thrown in during the movie for Dr. Evil's take on Will Smith's "Just the Two of Us" about how much he loves Mini-Me.

Mini-Me is a perfect replica of Dr. Evil, only at 1/8 the size. "The Spy Who Shagged Me" also seems to be a replica of the original Austin Powers, only at 1/8 the size.

The formula "The Spy Who Shagged Me" follows is the same sort of thing that works for satires and spoofs: try the same jokes in different contexts. Only the reason why it's funny in a satire is because it's a satire - maybe instead of the evil guy being dressed in silver, he's adorned in aluminum foil and calls himself "Dr. E-foil" or something.

It's an allusion, a joke of a joke. "The Spy Who Shagged Me" can't be a satire, because the characters are the same and the movie is made by the same people. No, it's just supposed to be funny because it was funny last time.

Do they really think we're that stupid or that we'd think seeing the same jokes again would be just as funny? I don't know about you, but the second time I hear a joke, it just isn't as funny.

The movie's futile attempts at topping what was funny in its predecessor - by rerunning the same gags and incessant "Star Wars" rip-offs - lead me to believe this: "The Spy Who Shagged Me" is nothing more than a money pit.

Even the trailer for the movie knew that nothing would really top "Star Wars," so the ad geniuses for New Line knew that if they joked around with that, they just might be able to create just as much hoopla.

And they did. And it's stupid Austin Powers of all things.

Can you imagine if they had tried to do the same thing with "Wayne's World 2?" "If you see one movie this summer, see "Star Wars." If you see two, see 'Wayne's World 2.'"

That's pretty ridiculous, isn't it?

Everyone's flocking to the theaters to see "The Spy Who Shagged Me" just because they've been told to. Even though I'm telling you it stinks worse than a dead rat on a hunk of cheese, you'll probably see it anyway. I can't help that.

But I am pretty sad that what's amounted to be the blockbuster movies of the summer are hollow shells that seem to take us all for idiots. Basically, it's just downright insulting.