Austin Powers 101
» Spoiler Warning: details on this page could spoil any surprise(s) in the story if you have not seen these movies.
Movie 1: Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997). In this send-up of James Bond spy films and 1960's schtick, the dastardly doings of Dr. Evil lead to his escape into outer space and the cryogenic freezing of superagent Austin Powers. Thirty years later, Dr. Evil returns to earth to bring about terror and mass destruction, but he soon learns that his ideas and methods are out of date. So too does our hero who - upon being thawed out - finds he's a bit behind the times as well. Well-meaning and bumbling efforts to thwart the insidious Dr. Evil keep Austin and his devastatingly beautiful partner Vanessa busy from London to Las Vegas. Freedom in the '90s, baby!
Movie 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999). Dr. Evil uses a device he calls a "Time Machine" to travel back to 1969 and remove Austin Powers' mojo. Austin must travel back in time and, with the help of agent Felicity Shagwell, recover his vitality. Meanwhile, Dr. Evil's personal life runs amok as he discovers love, continues to shun his son and develops a close relationship with himself. Well, actually, a clone 1/8 his size whom he dubs "Mini-Me". The always time-baffled Dr. Evil begins his plan to put a gigantic cannon on the moon, thus turning it into a device called either "The Death Star" or "Alan Parson's Project," depending on which name is available.
Movie 3: Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002). Dr. Evil and Mini-Me have somehow escaped from a maximum security prison, and the duo team up with Goldmember. Together they formulate a plan for world domination. And this particular scheme requires a large amount of time-travel and kidnapping Austin Powers' father, England's master spy, Nigel Powers. As Austin chases Dr. Evil, Mini-Me and Goldmember through time, he stops in 1975 to "connect" with an old girlfriend, detective Foxxy Cleopatra, and requests her help to track the villains and save his father.
Austin Powers: Recap and Review
What makes it so notable? Surprisingly, an off-beat - but skilled - rascal with bad teeth and a one track mind can prove to be an enjoyable departure from those handsome, super-cool spy types.
What are its weak points? What started out as a fun and original character kinda wears thin, even after the second movie. Plus, even for low-brow humor, the bathroom scenes are frequently more repulsive than funny.
Verdict: Casual Fan or Big-Time Fangirl? somewhere below Casual Fan
Comments: You know how when you were a kid you got a new toy and you wanted to play with it all the time? But then the toy lost its appeal and finally wound up at the bottom of your toy box? That's kind of how I feel about Austin Powers. When I saw the first one I really, really enjoyed it, but in the time since, my interest has waned. Or maybe my tastes have changed: I haven't seen the third movie because I find that just reading the quotes from it is off-putting. In any event, at least Austin left me with a few fond memories.
- Quotes -
The good, the bad, the sad, the funny: the things we wish we'd thought to say first.
[From Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery]
Basil Exposition: Austin, the Cold War is over!
Austin Powers: Finally those capitalist pigs will pay for their crimes, eh? Eh comrades? Eh?
Basil Exposition: We won, Austin.
Austin Powers: Groovy. Smashing! Good on ya! ... Yay capitalism!
Vanessa Kensington: Mr. Powers, my job is to acclimatize you to the nineties. You know, a lot's changed since 1967.
Austin Powers: Well, as long as people are still having promiscuous sex with many anonymous partners without protection while at the same time experimenting with mind-expanding drugs in a consequence-free environment, I'll be sound as a pound!
Vanessa Kensington: I will never have sex with you, ever! If you were the last man on earth and I was the last woman on earth, and the future of the human race depended on our having sex, simply for procreation, I still would not have sex with you.
Austin Powers: What's your point, Vanessa?
Austin Powers: Allow myself to introduce... myself.
U.N. Representative: Now, Mr. Evil...
Dr. Evil: It's Dr. Evil, actually. I didn't spend six years in Evil Medical School to be called Mister Evil, thank you very much.
[Austin and Vanessa see a man decapitated]
Austin Powers: Not the time to lose one's head.
Austin Powers: That's not the way to get ahead in life.
Austin Powers: It's a shame he wasn't more headstrong.
Vanessa: Shut up.
Austin Powers: Fair enough.
Austin Powers: This is my happening and it freaks me out!
Austin Powers: There you are!
Las Vegas Tourist: Do I know you?
Austin Powers: No, but that's where you are, you're there!
Dr. Evil: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to my underground lair. I have gathered here before me the world's deadliest assassins, and yet each of you has failed to kill Austin Powers. That makes me angry. And when Dr. Evil gets angry, Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset. And when Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset... people DIE!
[From Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me]
Austin (very sad): I can't believe Vanessa, my bride, my one true love, the woman who taught me the beauty of sharing your whole life with another, the person who taught me the meaning of love, was a Fembot. How will I ever go on?
[He suddenly brightens.]
Austin Powers: Wait a tic! That means I'm single! Oh, behave!
[Scott and Dr. Evil are on the Jerry Springer show.]
Scott: Why'd you run out on me?
Dr. Evil: Because you're not quite evil enough.
[the audience boos]
Dr. Evil: Well it's true! It's true! You're semi-evil. You're quasi-evil. You're the margarine of evil. You're the Diet Coke of evil. Just one calorie, not evil enough.
Dr. Evil: I shall call him Mini-Me.
Dr. Evil: As you know, every diabolical scheme I've hatched has been thwarted by Austin Powers. And why is that, ladies and gentlemen?
Scott: Because you never kill him when you get the chance, and you're a dope?
Ivana: Do you know how we keep warm in Russia?
Austin Powers: I can guess, baby.
Ivana: We play chess.
Austin Powers: I guessed wrong.
Ivana: You are hairy, like animal!
Austin Powers: Grr, baby. VERY grr!
Basil Exposition: After years of research we've developed a machine that will transport you back to the Sixties.
Austin Powers: But Basil, isn't that the new Volkswagen Beetle?
Basil Exposition: That's what they'd like you to believe.
Felicity Shagwell: Austin Powers, I presume?
Austin Powers: Powers by name, Powers by reputation.
Felicity Shagwell: Felicity Shagwell, CIA. Shagwell by name, Shag-Very-Well by reputation.
Felicity Shagwell: Guru, I'd like you to meet Austin Powers.
Austin Powers: How are you baby?
Guru: My chakras are aligned and I am in a perfect state of equipoise.
Austin Powers: Good on ya. I don't know what that means but it sounds fab.
Austin Powers: How could you sleep with Fat Bastard?
Felicity Shagwell: I was just doing my duty, Austin. I had to.
Austin Powers: No, I mean, literally, HOW could you do it? The man's so fat, the sheer mechanics of it are mind-boggling.
Austin (with hurt feelings after Felicity's comments about his lost mojo): Ouch, Baby. Very ouch.
[The guard has just fallen in molten lava.]
Austin Powers: What a... burn?
Austin Powers: That sort of thing could get a man... fired?
Austin Powers: I think he was... hot... for... you?
Felicity: That's enough.
Austin Powers: Yeah.
Dr. Evil: Mini-Me, if I ever lost you I don't know what I would do. ... I'd probably move on, get another clone but there would be a 15 minute period there where I would just be inconsolable.
- Lessons Learned -
What can we learn from this film series?
* They can't all be James Bond.
* You know what's remarkable? Is how much England looks in no way like Southern California.
* Choose your words carefully when you have no inner monologue.
* Bad guys are no match for a judo chop.
* In many ways, Bob's Big Boy never left.
* Being called the village bicycle is not a compliment.
* Russian Intelligence? Are you mad?
* Two things to know about life: one, Americans will never take to soccer. Two, Swedish girls and stewardesses love to shag!
* In Britain in the Sixties you could be a sex symbol and still have bad teeth.
* Since then there have been fabulous advances in the field of dentistry.
* It's important not to focus on other people's physical imperfections.
* Cards are not everyone's bag.
* There's nothing as pathetic as an aging hipster.
* Bad guys are quite resilient when it comes to recovering from the sudden loss of a co-worker.
* Do not appear on the Jerry Springer show with your evil father. In fact, do not be on the Jerry Springer show period.
* Daddy issues can *seriously* mess a person up!
* There are worse things than being deemed "not evil enough."
* Certain coffee franchises are way more profitable than a life of crime.
* Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.
* The key to life is to rotate your vices.
* Some people like to live dangerously.
* Sometimes - often in fact - living dangerously is kind of foolish.
* Many an evil plot has been foiled because the calamity has already happened.
* Why think small? Is all I'm saying.
* Men with big brains wear large hats.
* When playing chess, the... horsey... moves in an L shape.
* Looking too hard for logic in movie plots might make you go cross-eyed.
* When you get your own evil empire, you can call it whatever you want.
* However, don't be such an egotistical dictator that you ignore good advice.
* Chocolate can be like catnip for really tiny clones.
* Your teenaged son just asked for ice cream? Are you sure that's what he said?
* Nobody try anything stupid or the shooting begins.
* Carefully avoid sharing too much personal information.
* The Internet can access vital data, such as funny videos of monkeys.
* Really, no one can take your mojo.
* Sometimes what we "vant" just isn't in the cards.
* Vulgarity is no substitute for wit.
* Repeat! Vulgarity is no substitute for wit. (Movie writers, are you paying attention??)
*¹ If you work for Dr. Evil watch where you sit.
*¹ One cannot play a CD on a record player.
*¹ Mutant Sea Bass can be very ill-tempered.
*¹ Evil henchmen have families too.
*¹ The '70s and '80s weren't much, just an oil crisis and a flock of seagulls.
*¹ DeLoreans aren't the only cars with time travel capabilities.
*¹ Whoever throws a shoe fights like a woman.
*¹ If you turn evil you may lose your hair.
*¹ Working for an evil organization has benefits like physicals.
*¹ You can build a submarine in your own likeness.
*¹ All of the inmates in at least one maximum security jail know the words to "It's a Hard Knock Life" and can be induced to stage a riot so that other people can escape after hearing a rap cover of that song sung in an effeminate fake-Oxonian accent.
*¹ Scottish people can be sumo wrestlers.
*¹ When you live in the Netherlands you have a German accent instead of a Dutch one.
- Favorite Scenes -
Also known as "moments"
[From Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery]
I like the scene where Scott is trying to say something, and Dr. Evil keeps interrupting him with "Sh!" Dr. Evil even resorts to a knock-knock joke ("Knock knock." "Who's there?" "Sh!") before he finally tells Scott, "I have a whole bag of "sh!" with your name on it."
I also like the scene where Austin Powers is collecting his things after waking up from being frozen. One of the items is quite embarrassing, and Austin denies that it's his. The clerk produces a credit card receipt signed by Austin for the item. Against, Austin sheepishly denies it, saying that sort of thing is "not my bag, baby." Without missing a beat, the clerk produces a book about the thing being "my bag" by Austin Powers.
Dr. Evil: Here's the plan. We get the warhead, and we hold the world ransom for... (dramatic pause) ... One. Million. Dollars."
[The group is uncomfortably silent.]
Number Two: Don't you think we should ask for more than a million dollars? A million dollars isn't that much money these days.
Dr. Evil: All right then... (dramatic pause) ...FIVE MILLION DOLLARS!
[Again, the group is uncomfortably silent.]
Number Two: Virtucon alone makes over nine billion dollars a year.
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