There’s no denying the cult status of the Austin Powers series – but it’s certainly bizarre that this 2021 disc is the fourth time the film has been released on Blu-ray in the UK. The amount of DVD editions probably doubles that number. While it’s probably down to the rights of the film being handed around willy-nilly, it seems utterly bizarre that time and money would go into putting this film out there again when so many other films are still without releases.
Still, the film itself is just as hilarious as ever. Here is a comedy that has held up remarkably well in its effective and timeless parodying of 60s spy capers with some of the most ridiculous and juvenile jokes ever put to screen. Mike Myers has never been better than in his multiple roles of the series – introducing us in this franchise-launching comedy classic to the titular superspy and the villainous Dr. Evil. With a rock-solid supporting cast and endlessly quotable dialogue, the film has certainly earned its legacy as one of the 90s’ best comedies.
But with all that said, there’s really no getting around the fact that this new release is totally unwarranted, and wasted. It wouldn’t be so bad if the film was given a fresh 4K restoration or some new retrospective featurettes, but there’s nothing here that hasn’t been seen before on previous discs while the dated master used is certainly underwhelming. The whole release feels cheap and rushed, with absolutely seemingly no effort put in to make this release even remotely necessary. If you own the film in any format or previous release, there’s absolutely no reason to upgrade. Inexplicably, the Blu-ray is being marketed as a ‘Collector’s Edition’. Go figure.
It’s worth noting that the disc contains the ‘uncut’ version, as all previous UK releases have. All US releases present the film in its cut form, losing – among other things – the hilarious ‘family of a henchman’ sequences.
If, however, you don’t have the film in your collection and feel like now is the time to change that, it’s a perfectly serviceable if not particularly impressive disc. The film itself is timelessly hilarious and worth the price of purchase alone, reminding us why 1990s Mike Myers was a force to be reckoned with. It’s certainly the best film in the series and one that will seemingly never lose its power to induce chuckles in any viewer.
This new release adds absolutely nothing new and feels like a missed opportunity considering how many inferior films are getting 4K re-releases these days, but the film itself is as brilliant as ever.
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery is on Collector’s Edition Blu-ray, DVD and Digital 19 April from Icon Film Distribution