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if only austin powers : the spy who shagged me had been just half as original , zany , silly and totally enjoyable as its predecessor , it would have easily been one of this summer's biggest pleasures .
if only .
in fact , the spy who shagged me is the exact opposite of the original ; instead of refreshing the audience with one clever parody after another , the filmmakers bombard us with used-up , tired jokes taken directly from the first one .
take the scene where austin powers ( again played by mike myers , but with only a fraction of the giddy enthusiasm he displayed previously ) confronts a henchmen on the side of a cliff .
after being pushed off the ravine , the bad guy is of course assumed dead .
but suddenly , we hear a pleading voice coming from down below ; he's only injured .
a similar scene played very well in the original international man of mystery , but here i was insulted by it .
did the filmmakers really believe the audience would laugh at a rip-off ?
apparently i overestimated the intelligence of the average movie-goer , considering that the film has pulled in over $200 million in domestic theatrical grosses alone .
do i hear the sound of a franchise heading our way ?
having said that , though , i still cannot deny the film its merits .
the basic plot was delightfully silly enough to sustain my interest somewhat ; dr . evil ( mike myers , in the second of his three roles ) , having constructed a time machine , goes back to the year 1969 in an attempt to snatch austin power's " mojo " ( don't you just love that word ? )
whilst he is cryogenically frozen .
when austin gets wind of this ( after a great intro explaining the absence of elizabeth hurley's vanessa kensington ) , he too travels back in time to re-claim his sexual drive , accompanied by the hot-to-trot felicity shagwell , played by heather graham .
this sounds stupid , i know , but in the movie it starts to make some kind of weird , off-the-wall sense , and it worked for me .
then there's mini-me ( verne troyer ) , a . . .
petite clone of myer's dr . evil , exactly 1/8 in size .
troyer's persona alone gains the film an extra half-star , contributing to one particularly hilarious scene where he attempts to nibble on his own mini-mr .
bigglesworth .
just try to ignore the fact that , at 2'8'' , he would make dr . evil's height rise to just over 21 feet .
no matter .
however , there are only about four hearty laughs throughout the entire hour and a half ( the most notable being the now infamous tent scene ) , and that just isn't enough to warrant even a minor recommendation .
if there is in fact an " austin powers 3 " , they should just kill off secret agent powers and put the emphasis on dr . evil and mini-me .
unconventional , yes , but there's no denying that it'd make for a better movie .