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Rant Of The Day THIS RANT 23/06/99

Rant Of The Day is where I get to mouth off about whatever I feel like for however long I like. Theoretically, I'll update my whinge/opinion piece every weekday; in practice, maybe not so often.

Don't go there, girlfriend!

At least I can claim I was there at the beginning. In 1997, I was one of the relatively small number of people who went to see Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery at an Australian cinema (the movie's total takings were just $3.6 million). Indeed, Austin was such an uncertain success at the time that Mike Myers was even flown to Australia to promote it (this is generally a sure sign that people aren't sure a movie is going to be a hit).

As everyone on the planet must know by now, the sequel Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me has done rather better, taking $5.7 million in its first weekend in Australia and ten times that figure in the US. The only edge I've got this time is that I managed to see it at a media preview before it was even out in the States (but before you start whining, I've since been back and paid for my own ticket).

Unusually for a sequel, the second flick's every bit as funny as the first, and has the added advantage of not having to set up the characters. Austin remains his usual shagadelic self, but most of the best moments come from Dr Evil, whose attempts to grapple with 90s culture provide the real comic meat. Plus there are even more Bond cross-references than before, and Heather Graham is a major babe.

The only area where the movie falls slightly behind its predecessor is the soundtrack. There are some great tracks (notably Madonna's 'Beautiful Stranger', Mel G's cover of 'Word Up', Green Day's 'Espionage' and Dr Evil's unique take on 'Just The Two Of Us'), but the sixties-centric feel of the first release has been replaced with generic soundtrack fodder where modern artists and tracks predominate. Still, you can't have everything, and I can't wait for the video release (which is rumoured to feature old and young No 2 in bed together).


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