A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me is a 1999 sequel that's very, very, very raunchy, with incessant and prolonged sexual humor. Because it's a comedy, the rating system gives it a PG-13, but the material would clearly get an R if it appeared in a drama. Do not kid yourself that some of these jokes are "over their heads." Those kids who do not see it -- or who do see it and miss some of the jokes -- will hear detailed explanations from those who do of references like Powers asking one woman "Which is it, spits or swallows?" and pretty much every woman "Do I make you horny?" In addition, the movie features character names Felicity Shagwell, Fat Bastard, and Ivana Humpalot, a rocket shaped like a penis (described by a series of characters with every imaginable euphemism), references to a one-night stand "getting weird," an extended sequence in which it appears that a number of objects are removed from Powers' rectum, and Powers' inability to perform in bed due to his missing "mojo." There is also a good deal of potty humor, including Powers mistaking a stool sample for coffee. There is also a joke referencing a lesbian character who met her girlfriend on the "LPGA tour." Profanity includes "s--t," "bitch," and "nuts."
- Parents say
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What's the story?
Austin Powers (Mike Meyers) loses his wife (Elizabeth Hurley from the first movie, who turns out to be a killer robot), and meets up with CIA agent Felicity Shagwell (Heather Graham). Dr. Evil (also Mike Myers) is still plotting world domination, with the assistance of Number Two (played by Robert Wagner in the scenes set in the present and Rob Lowe in the scenes set in the past). Dr. Evil goes back in time to 1969 to steal Powers' "mojo" with the help of a huge Scot called Fat Bastard (also Mike Meyers) and Powers goes back to 1969 to retrieve it.
Is it any good?
AUSTIN POWERS: THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME is very funny at times and always genial enough to inspire generosity toward the jokes that don't work. Spy boss Basil Exposition (Michael York) wisely advises both Powers and the audience not to think too much about the plot.
This is silly fun for its core audience of college kids. They will find the jokes about the 1980s wildly funny, though they may miss some of the jokes about the 1960s. Parents should be very cautious about allowing children or young teens to see the movie, and should be prepared to talk with kids who see or hear about it, to answer questions, explain family standards on the use of the language in the movie, and to provide reassurance.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why gross-out humor is so popular. Is it funny or offensive? What about the sex jokes? Families may choose to explain family standards on the use of the language in the movie, and to provide reassurance.
Many comedies are parodies of genres or particular movies. What does this movie parody? What are some other examples of parody movies?
While intended to be a parody of spy movies from the 1960s, how does this movie also reflect the time in which it was released -- the late 1990s? What aspects of it seem dated now?
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