Spoof movies… you either love them or hate them. Well, except me – I love some and hate others! Being subjected to travesties like the Scary Movie series, Date/Epic/Disaster etc Movie, even the recent Vampires Suck, is a trauma that’s hard to recover from, and one that continually threatens to destroy my love of the movie-making business altogether. Even accidentally viewing part of a trailer for one of them can be a horrifying experience, but when they’re done right, by genuinely talented people, they can be movies of comedic genius, and the movie world is filled with potential candidates.
James Bond films are generally fantastic entertainment, but they are also one of the candidates mentioned that are particularly ripe for spoofing, especially the earlier films. To be honest I’m surprised it took so long, but the combined talents of Mike Myers and Jay Roach did eventually bring us the highly amusing shagathon featured here, which not only represents the birth of the (soon to be ‘rebooted’) series, but which also remains the best film in the series. Well, in my opinion, anyway! As with the film featured in my first Top Five Movie Moments, choosing the five best moments from this film was tough, particularly as many of the gags are visual, but here are my choices:
Spoiler Alert: the Top Five Movie Moments featured here obviously assume that you’ve seen the film in question or don’t mind knowing about its most prominent moments so don’t come whining to me if they ruin a film that you haven’t seen yet!
5… “We’ll Hold The World Ransom For…”
Recently thawed from cryogenic freeze, Dr. Evil wastes no time in ridding himself of surplus henchmen, including the indestructible Mustafa (Will Ferrell). After job number one is out of the way, job number two: hold the world hostage…
Dr. Evil:“Gentlemen, I have a plan. It’s called blackmail. The Royal Family of Britain are the wealthiest landowners in the world. Either the Royal Family pays us an exorbitant amount of money, or we make it seen that Prince Charles has had an affair outside of marriage and therefore would have to divorce!” (much maniacal laughing ensues)
Number Two:“Prince Charles did have an affair. He admitted it, and they are now divorced.”
Dr. Evil:“Right, people you have to tell me these things, okay? I’ve been frozen for thirty years, okay? Throw me a frickin’ bone here! I’m the boss! Need the info.”
Dr. Evil:“Okay no problem. Here’s my second plan. Back in the 60’s, I had a weather changing machine that was, in essence, a sophisticated heat beam which we called a “laser.” Using these “lasers,” we punch a hole in the protective layer around the Earth, which we scientists call the “Ozone Layer.” Slowly but surely, ultraviolet rays would pour in, increasing the risk of skin cancer. That is unless the world pays us a hefty ransom.” (more maniacal laughing)
Number Two:(pause) “That also already has happened.”
Dr. Evil:“Shit. Oh hell, let’s just do what we always do. Hijack some nuclear weapons and hold the world hostage. Yeah? Good! Gentlemen, it has come to my attention that a breakaway Russian Republic called Kreplachistan will be transferring a nuclear warhead to the United Nations in a few days. Here’s the plan. We get the warhead and we hold the world ransom for… ONE MILLION DOLLARS!”
Number Two:“Don’t you think we should ask for *more* than a million dollars? A million dollars isn’t exactly a lot of money these days. Virtucon alone makes over 9 billion dollars a year!”
Dr. Evil:“Really? That’s a lot of money.”
Dr. Evil:“Okay then, we hold the world ransom for… One… Hundred… BILLION DOLLARS!”
(much more maniacal laughing)
4… “Not a time to lose one’s head”
After being captured by Dr. Evil, Austin and Vanessa are sent off to be killed by some ‘ill-tempered, mutated, sea bass’. It’s not long, however, before they manage to overpower the henchman sent to oversea their excution, and accidentally get him decapitated. Austin’s reaction?
Austin:“Not the time to lose one’s head.”
Austin:“That’s not the way to get ahead in life.”
Austin:“It’s a shame he wasn’t more headstrong.”
Austin:“He’ll never be the head of a major corporation.”
Vanessa:“Okay, that’ll do.”
3… Three-Point Turn?
After infiltrating Dr. Evil’s super underground lair posing as tourists, it’s not long before Austin and Vanessa leave the tour and start snooping around. They soon comandeer a electric baggage cart thing and drive down a long tunnel before parting ways. Eager to return the way he came, Austin tries to perform a three-point turn with the cart only to find it’s almost exactly the same width as the tunnel, meaning it might be a bit more than a three-point turn! Yes, it’s a visual gag which doesn’t really work with words and a still image, but it’s so funny (in my opinion, at least) I had to include it!
2… “That’s Not Mine!”
After being unfrozen from cryogenic freeze to stop the newly re-emerged Dr. Evil’s plans for world domination, Austin is debriefed before having his personal effects returned, accompanied by new sidekick Vanessa…
Clerk:“Personal effects, Danger Powers”
Austin: “Actually my name’s Austin Powers”
Clerk:“It says here, name: Danger Power”
Austin:“No, no, no, no, no” (looks at Vanessa) “Danger’s my middle name.”
Clerk:“Okay, Austin Danger Powers… one blue crushed velvet suit…” Austin:“Hey, all right” Clerk: “One frilly lace cravat…” Austin: “There it is” Clerk:“One silver medallion with ‘male’ symbol…” (Austin looks at Vanessa seductively) Clerk:“One pair of Italian boots” Austin:“Buon giorno boys” Clerk:“One vinyl record album: Burt Bacharach Plays His Hits” Austin:“Hey Burt!”
Clerk:“One Swedish-made penis enlarger pump”
Austin: (to Vanessa) “That’s not mine!”
Clerk:“One credit card receipt for Swedish-made penis enlarger… signed by Austin Powers”
Austin:“I’m telling ya baby, that’s not mine!”
Clerk:“One warranty card for Swedish-made penis enlarger pump… filled out by Austin Powers.”
Austin:“I don’t even know what this is! This sort of thing ain’t my bag, baby”
Clerk:“One book, “Swedish-made Penis Enlargers And Me: This Sort of Thing Is My Bag Baby”, by Austin Powers.”
1… The Opening
Some films have mysterious openings with a hint of intrigue to hook you into watching more. Others, like Austin Powers, let you know immediately what sort of film you’re in store for, and then some! The ludicrously over-the-top song and dance number portraying Austin as the grooviest swinger the world has ever seen is just right in its attempts to let you see just who he is and how others react to him. Filmed in American streets that the film makers have purposely made a half-arsed effort to look English (by adding a couple of London buses, red phone boxes, and of course, a typical English bobby), this fantastic sequence is arguably the best moment of the film! The sequels maybe tried a bit too hard to best it, so this remains the best in my view…