The Hill I’ll Die On: Austin Powers Is Better Than James Bond
The James Bond franchise is both successful and popular. So much so, that it spawned a parody franchise: Austin Powers. But I think the parody franchise is superior; here’s why…
There’s no denying that James Bond is iconic. Thanks to the wildly successful film franchise, anyone who can understand English has heard the phrases, “Bond. James Bond,” and “Shaken, not stirred”.
But I have to admit, I much prefer the parody franchise – Austin Powers. I’m well aware I’m going to get some pushback but hear me out!
Firstly, there have been six actors (and counting) who have portrayed James Bond over the years. Daniel Craig, Pierce Brosnan, Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton, Roger Moore, and George Lazenby. However, there is only one person on planet Earth who could play Austin Powers – Mr Mike Myers.
Myers created a character that is so unique and iconic that no one could ever replace him. Not only this, but the veteran actor also plays the bad guy, Dr Evil – and again, Dr Evil is such a one-of-a-kind character, only Myers could ever play him.
Then there’s the fact that the Austin Powers franchise is legitimately hilarious and wonderfully camp. The juvenile jokes as well as the witty ones are laugh-out-loud funny. And don’t get me started on all the clever visual gags. The James Bond films that attempted humour and campiness – Moore’s & Brosnan’s Bond films in particular – fall so flat in comparison.
Oh, and let’s not forget that Austin Powers, a character infamous for being a playboy, understands consent better than 007. In Thunderball, Connery’s Bond puts his arms around Patricia Fearing, a nurse inspecting his bruise, and forcibly kisses her which she struggles against. He then goes on to proposition her and basically threatens to get her fired unless she sleeps with him.
Similarly, in Goldfinger, Connery’s Bond pins down Pussy Galore in a barn and kisses her. She is clearly struggling against him and tries to avoid his kisses until she relents. However, in the first Austin Powers film, International Man of Mystery, Vanessa is intoxicated and says to Austin, “Kiss me”. To which he replies, “I can’t darling. You’re drunk; it’s not right.”
What a feminist king.
James Bond’s attitude to women vs Austin Powers’
Also, Austin Powers is responsible for the best James Bond film. How? Well, in a 2014 interview with The A.V. Club, the most recent Bond actor, Craig admitted that the Austin Powers franchise forced the James Bond franchise to abandon jokes of any kind and take a more grounded and grittier turn.
“… [the Austin Powers movies] fucked us. I am a huge Mike Myers fan, so don’t get me wrong, but he kind of fucked us; made it impossible to do the gags.”
While it seems that Craig was rather bothered by the fact that his Bond films were more serious than previous instalments, fans weren’t. Craig is arguably the best James Bond to ever grace our screens and Casino Royale is arguably the best Bond film of all time. So, thanks Austin Powers.
I know at the end of the day, I won’t sway any die-hard Bond fans into loving Austin Powers more than 007. And I’m sure my stance on this is heavily influenced by the fact that I prefer comedy films to any other genre. But hey, I’m entitled to my shagadelic opinion. Now, behave.