Austin Powers (film series)

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Austin Powers
Austin Powers logo.png
Series logo
Directed byJay Roach
Produced byMike Myers
Demi Moore
Jennifer Todd
Suzanne Todd
Written byMike Myers
Michael McCullers
StarringMike Myers
Michael York
Robert Wagner
Mindy Sterling
Seth Green
Verne Troyer
Music byGeorge S. Clinton
Distributed byNew Line Cinema
Release dates1997–2002
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$112,500,000
Box office$676,356,278
 
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Austin Powers
Austin Powers logo.png
Series logo
Directed byJay Roach
Produced byMike Myers
Demi Moore
Jennifer Todd
Suzanne Todd
Written byMike Myers
Michael McCullers
StarringMike Myers
Michael York
Robert Wagner
Mindy Sterling
Seth Green
Verne Troyer
Music byGeorge S. Clinton
Distributed byNew Line Cinema
Release dates1997–2002
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
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) – 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 superspy. 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 superspy 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 Seller's 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.
CharacterFilm
International Man of MysteryThe Spy Who Shagged MeGoldmember
Austin PowersMike Myers
Doctor EvilMike Myers
Basil ExpositionMichael York
Number 2Robert WagnerRobert Wagner
Rob Lowe (younger version)
Frau FarbissinaMindy Sterling
Scott EvilSeth Green
Vanessa KensingtonElizabeth Hurley 
Mini-Me Verne Troyer
Fat Bastard Mike Myers
Mrs. KensingtonMimi Rogers 
Felicity Shagwell Heather Graham 
Foxxy Cleopatra Beyoncé Knowles
Nigel Powers Michael Caine
Number 3 Fred Savage
Goldmember Mike Myers

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]

FilmRelease dateBox office revenueBox office rankingBudgetReference
United StatesForeignWorldwideAll time domesticAll time worldwide
Austin Powers: International Man of MysteryMay 2, 1997$53,883,989$13,800,000$67,683,989#1,171$16,500,000[2]
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged MeJune 11, 1999$206,040,086$105,976,772$312,016,858#119
#152[a]
#257$33,000,000[3]
Austin Powers in GoldmemberJuly 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]

FilmRotten TomatoesMetacritic
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery70% (60 reviews)[5]51% (25 reviews)[6]
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me51% (85 reviews)[7]59% (34 reviews)[8]
Austin Powers in Goldmember54% (182 reviews)[9]62% (34 reviews)[10]

Media[edit]

Films[edit]

The series consists of three films:

Games[edit]

Video games
Other

Future[edit]

In March 2010, Jay Roach indicated to MTV that Myers is working on ideas for a fourth film.[11][12] When asked about the future of Austin Powers in September 2013, Myers cryptically answered "I’m still figuring that out," in regards to another film.[13]

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. ^ "Fourth 'Austin Powers' Movie Will Go 'Somewhere You Haven't Though Of,' Jay Roach Says". MTV. Retrieved 2010-10-14. 
  12. ^ "Mike Myers Revives Dr. Evil". MTV. Retrieved 2007-05-09. 
  13. ^ "Toronto: Fleming Q&A’s Mike Myers On ‘Supermensch’ Directorial Debut". Deadline. Retrieved 2013-09-16. 

External links[edit]