This is At the Buzzer’s countdown of the best 25 comedies of all-time. Our panel of 10 cast their votes, and we’re revealing the results one by one until we get to No. 1 on Tuesday, May 10.
And now, our number 10:
10) Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (4 votes, 198 points)
I have an even better idea. I’m going to place him in an easily escapable situation involving an overly elaborate and exotic death.
Chris: We step into the top 10 with a movie that I liked quite a bit originally and loved more and more over time. When I sat down to put together my own rankings, Austin Powers started in the middle tiers and eventually kept sneaking higher and higher until it made my top five.
There are so many parts that I look back on and smile. Even the little opening pseudo-dance bit gets me, particularly when the serious-looking cop decides to join in — and later starts doing sick handsprings across the street. I love Mustafa dying a slow and arduous death, I love Scott’s constant inability to understand his father, and I love Margaret Thatcher naked on a cold day.
Wait, that doesn’t sound quite right.
Anyway, none of those scenes competes with my absolute favorite, a short exchange when Number Two and Austin Powers are playing blackjack. Hell, rather than describing it, let’s just put it here.
Some people in this world believe that one of the sequels is a better movie. I disagree with them, but they’re entitled to their opinion. Without the original, though, some of those running gags simply don’t work. And even though we have plenty of movies on this list that successfully do parody and satire, I’m not sure there’s a better one out there — it takes all the spy/James Bond tropes and absolutely slaughters them. Mike Myers kills it and Elizabeth Hurley is mega-hot. What more could you ask for?
Cary: I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that I was likely with a majority of people who, before Austin Powers, only knew Mike Myers as Wayne Campbell from Wayne’s World. Okay sure, and Saturday Night Live. And, I guess, So I Married an Axe Murderer. But who saw that? (I did. It’s a funny movie.) In any event, after seeing the first Austin Powers movie, that role of Powers forever became Mike Myers in my mind, because he was just so good at playing that character. Also, it’s hard to deny that the film was a damn fine send up of spy movies. And, super sexy Elizabeth Hurley….
So…yeah, it had everything going for it. And if it had been done by anybody but Myers, it probably would have flopped. But his ability to wholly transform into the International Man of Mystery that we all know and love today was nothing short of astounding. The first Austin Powers is an immensely funny movie that remains quotable and a joy to watch.
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