Yeah Baby! Groo-oovy! When the buck-toothed, bespectacled (self-proclaimed) babe-magnet who is Austin Powers burst onto our screens in 1997, we were treated to a fantastical throwback to the decades of Flower Power and Disco Fever. Although set in the 1990’s, the plots allow a fabulously cheesy amount of retro fun. The Austin Powers movie franchise consists of a trilogy of hip-tastic psychedelic action. Firstly we had ‘Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery’; followed promptly by the crudely-titled ‘Austin Powers: The Spy Who Sh**ged Me’ in 1999. The final instalment was released in 2002 and was called ‘Austin Powers in Goldmember’ – a cheeky pun on the Bond title Goldfinger. After all, Austin Power really is a super spy. He is. No, really, he is.
The spy-spoof films are the brainchild of Canadian-born Mike Myers, who not only wrote and produced the films, he had the starring role of the quirky love-god Powers. His comedic talents didn’t stop with Austin Powers though; he also starred as Dr Evil – Powers’ nemesis and Dr Evil’s henchman Fat B@st*rd. The often-farcical capers of Dr Evil trying to extort billions of dollars from the world, whilst attempting to take it over, are a parody of the super villain Dr No of James Bond fame. Dr No is accompanied by his clone miniature sidekick – Mini-Me, played by the hugely talented Verne Troyer. The Swinging Sixties and Groovy Seventies were recreated with panache. Every cliché possible about the 60s, 70s, and spies made its way onto the screen.
There is a veritable feast of retro fashion with miniskirts, tassels, waistcoats and go go boots everywhere. A plethora of impromptu dance routines pepper the plotlines. There’s the Swim, the Watusi, the Hand Jive, the Hitchhike and of course the characteristic Twist. It really couldn’t get any camper! With such corny chat-up lines as “Do I make you horny, baby? Do I?” it’s hard to believe he had beautiful ladies falling at his feet. His on-screen love (or lust) interests include Felicity Shagwell, played by Elizabeth Hurley; and Foxxy Cleopatra played by the Beyonce Knowles.