"I put the grrr in swinger, baby!" a deliciously randy Austin Powers coos near the beginning of The Spy Who Shagged Me, and if the imagination of Austin creator Mike Myers seems to have sagged a bit, his energy surely hasn't. This friendly, go-for-broke sequel to 1997's Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery finds our man Austin heading back to the '60s to keep perennial nemesis Dr. Evil (Myers again) from blowing up the world--and, more importantly, to get back his mojo, that man-juice that turns Austin into irresistible catnip for women, especially American spygirl Felicity Shagwell (a pretty but vacant Heather Graham). The plot may be irreverent and illogical, the jokes may be bad (with characters named Ivana Humpalot and Robin Swallows, née Spitz), and the scenes may run on too long, but it's all delivered sunnily and with tongue firmly in cheek.
Myers's true triumph, though, is his turn as the neurotic Dr. Evil, who tends to spout the right cultural reference at exactly the wrong time (referring to his moon base as a "Death Star" with Moon Units Alpha and Zappa--in 1969). Myers teams Dr. Evil with a diminutive clone, Mini-Me (Verne J. Troyer), who soon replaces slacker son Scott Evil (Seth Green) as the apple of the doctor's eye; Myers and Troyer work magic in what could plausibly be one of the year's most affecting (and hysterically funny) love stories. Despite a stellar supporting cast--including a sly Rob Lowe as Robert Wagner's younger self and Mindy Sterling as the forbidding Frau Farbissina--it's basically Myers's show, and he pulls a hat trick by playing a third character, the obese and disgusting Scottish assassin Fat Bastard. Many viewers will reel in disgust at Mr. Bastard's repulsive antics and the scatological bent Myers indulges in, including one showstopper involving coffee and--shudder--a stool sample. Still, Myers's good humor and dead-on cultural references win the day; Austin is one spy who proves he can still shag like a minx. --Mark Englehart
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me is rated PG-13 by the MPAA.