A View to a Shill

Unfunny, product-placement-packed Austin Powers sequel can go shag itself

Elizabeth Hurley (conveniently excised from the movie during its opening sequence), Robert Wagner, Michael York, Will Ferrell and Mindy Sterling also reprise their roles from International Man of Mystery--same actors, same jokes. Even Burt Bacharach is back for a musical number with Elvis Costello, who evidently got the gig because he provided the model for Austin's teeth. Willie Nelson and Woody Harrelson also appear as the punch lines to an extended dick joke--pardon the pun--that's repeated twice.

The movie ends with Dr. Evil promising to return and "get" Austin Powers, and an unhappier ending is hard to imagine. Fact is, Shagged Me runs almost two hours and feels twice as long; imagine Schindler's List, just not as funny. At last week's screening, a boy of about 8, who should have at least appreciated the bathroom humor, asked, "Is it over yet?" a good 10 minutes before the final credits.

Let's see. The first Austin Powers cost $16 million and grossed $54 million in theaters. The second cost a reported $30 million and probably has already made close to that from product tie-ins. Don't get your hopes up, kid.

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
Directed by Jay Roach; with Mike Myers.

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