When I’ve told people that I’m reviewing the new Blu-ray release of Austin Powers, I’ve been met with fond memories, shagadelic quotes, and the question, “What is Mike Myers doing now?” It’s a reminder that Austin Powers is one of those rare movies that everyone has either seen or recognizes at a glance. Few comedies have struck this balance of cultish affection and mainstream success.
Almost 25 years later, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery remains an escapist blast of swinging silliness. One can’t help but smile at Mike Myers’ farcical creation, especially as he parades around Soho with hordes of women in pursuit. The jokes are thin, yes, but the pastiche and caricature of Myers’ script easily sustain the film’s sugary 90 minutes. I could become Basil Exposition at this point and break down the plot or mention a few gags, such as the metafictional empathy shown to Dr. Evil’s late henchman (who have friends and family like the rest of us!). But most readers would rather know how this new Blu-ray looks and sounds.
Happily, this is a solid transfer, with balanced colours and a detailed, low-grain image. The transfer was particularly impressive when I put my TV (Sony Bravia KD55XF9005BU) on sport mode, giving the motion a silky fluidity while, with some adjustments, maintaining the natural colours and brightness. The audio is delivered in a standard 5.1 DTS-HD MA mix, which is easily fit for purpose. This isn’t reference quality material by any means, but as Austin would purr, “Who cares, man?” It is a very welcome release that casts a HD sheen on a comedy classic.