It’s Movie Time: Austin Powers Trilogy

As always, Spoiler Alert.

Maybe I should have had some beer while watching these. Beer makes everything better.

Well … maybe not everything.

I bought the Austin Powers trilogy about 10 years ago, because I remembered a couple of laughs I’d gotten when I saw them originally, and I’ve got a bit of a sentimental attachment to Goldmember, as it’s the first movie Ron and I saw together. (Not that either of us much wanted to. But it was our second date, and it was my turn to decide what to do, and I suggested a movie without checking what was playing. I remember the pair of us looking at the list in the theatre lobby, going “Uuuhhhhhhhhh,” and finally settling on Goldmember as the least unappealing choice.) Plus they were cheap.

It had been a decade since I’d seen the first two films (International Man of Mystery, and The Spy Who Shagged Me), and nearly that long since Goldmember. So there was a bit of an absence makes the heart grow fonder kind of vibe behind my decision to buy them – remembering more good parts than bad. And when I watched them right after my purchase, the good did outweigh the bad.

Another 10 years on, though, I’ve gotta say the bad outweighed the good to a degree where I found myself thankful that at least they were cheap. The couple of laughs I used to get are worn out now. It probably didn’t help that I marathoned them, either, as I realized how many jokes are reused from film to film – naked people moving behind strategically placed, suggestive objects, misinterpreted shadows on curtains and tent walls, sort of naughty words being strung together in a bunch of quick cuts. All things that were kind of funny at first, but not so much for the second time in a day.

When Ozzy Osbourne is the one pointing out your wordplay isn’t so clever, perhaps it’s time to try to a new joke.

Actually, I think that highlights how much the way we consume our entertainment has changed. These films, like so much of pre-streaming entertainment, were not designed for marathons. Having originally been released two or three years apart, a new audience coupled with the gap in memories of the repeat audience, would have made the reused jokes less noticeable.

Still, I’m an absolute sucker for production numbers, so I always start International Man of Mystery in a good mood.

Even if that music does get stuck in my head for days.

I dunno. Perhaps it’s not the jokes that are getting worn. Perhaps it’s me. Like a lot of people, I’m not finding many reasons to laugh these days, and the lukewarm ones I used to get from Austin Powers simply aren’t strong enough to stand up to the pressures of everyday life right now. Maybe I’ll leave them sitting on the shelf for another decade, then dust them off and see if my viewing experience changes once again.

Yeah, baby. That’s exactly what I’m going to do.

To see other posts in my venture to watch my movie collection in alphabetical(ish) order, click here.

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