The Critics: VIDEOS

Dennis Lim
Saturday 04 April 1998 23:02

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (12). Defrosted in 1997 after 30 years in a cryogenic freeze, Swinging Sixties private eye Austin Powers (Mike Myers) picks up exactly where he left off. That's the one joke in this mostly good-natured kitsch-fest (written by Myers and directed by Jay Roach), and thankfully, it's a reasonably amusing one. Myers, who also plays Austin's psychotic nemesis, Dr Evil, is at his nutty best, spitting out one absurdly anachronistic catchphrase after another. The comedy is occasionally juvenile - indeed, the proliferation of robot babes (not to mention the casting of Elizabeth Hurley) is indicative of the film's target audience - but the overall exuberance makes up for it.

Nothing To Lose (15). This odd-couple male-bonding comedy pairs stressed yuppie Tim Robbins and nervous carjacker Martin Lawrence. You sense some chemistry between the two actors, but the patchy script (by director Steve Oedekerk) never gets past the tired set-up.

Shooting Fish (12). Stefan Schwartz's bustling caper stars Stuart Townsend and Dan Futterman as fellow scamsters - the former a shy computer nerd, the latter a glib American. Kate Beckinsale has a thankless love-interest role. Schwartz and co-writer Richard Holmes come up with some decent gags, but the determined wackiness gets wearying. Dennis Lim

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