The Correct Order To Watch The Austin Powers Movies 

After the massive success of the "Wayne's World" movies, studios were eager to capitalize on the popularity of "Saturday Night Live" cast member Mike Myers and his ability to create truly memorable characters. While womanizing James Bond spoof that is Austin Powers wasn't something Myers brought to "SNL" like the "Wayne's World" sketches, the shagadelic spoy blew up in pop culture pretty quickly. 

"Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery" made him a household name in 1997, complete with a massive marketing campaign and merchandise ranging from Austin Powers Halloween costumes to vintage tin lunchboxes. For a few short years, it seemed like Hollywood got swept up in Powers-mania, as two sequels were released in fairly quick succession. But after "Austin Powers in Goldmember" in 2002, the character pretty much disappeared from the pop culture consciousness. Rumors of a fourth film have circulated for years, with the most recent ones popping up just this past August when "Strays" director Josh Greenbaum said he would love to direct. 

Any new "Austin Powers" movie would have to follow much older versions of the characters, since it's been 21 years since the last movie came out. But there's definitely potential to dive back in and have Seth Green's Scott Evil be the new big bad. The "Austin Powers" films were cheeky, fun romps that occasionally pushed the boundaries of good taste, and it would be interesting to see how a sexist international super-spy survived in 2023. At the same time, there's an entire generation that missed out on the wave of Austin Powers popularity! So for the young ones out there (or for those of you who missed out on "Austin Powers" the first time around or maybe just need a refresher), here's a handy little guide to the "Austin Powers" movies and how to watch them in order. 

Austin Powers' Electric Psychedelic Pussycat Swingers Club (1997)

"Austin Powers' Electric Psychedelic Pussycat Swingers Club" is probably more for the Powers completionist than the average fan, but it's still a pretty fun little peek into 1990s movie promotion. Before the widespread use of the internet, movies had to rely on different kinds of advertising, and "Pussycat Swingers Club" was essentially a 43 minute long ad for the movie that introduced the characters and the world of super spy Austin Powers. 

As you can see above, Myers hosted the show in-character as Austin Powers, hanging out with celebrity guests and parodying "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In." The special came out a month before "International Man of Mystery" and would air on repeat on MTV late at night, where audiences were treated to bits like random dance segments and Austin Powers undergoing a Rorschach test. 

The latter ends up being pretty funny as Powers sees sexual images in every ink blot (he says a blank sheet of white paper is "two polar bears shagging in a snowstorm"), but there isn't a whole lot going on in "Pussycat Swingers Club," and it isn't required viewing to understand the "Austin Powers" universe in any way. 

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)

The first official Austin Powers movie is "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery," and it follows the titular Powers (Myers) after he is woken up from being cryogenically frozen for 30 years. After the villainous Dr. Evil (also Myers) is unfrozen from his own cryogenic state, the British government wakes up Powers and unleashes him upon the world. The only problem is that things have changed quite a bit since the 1960s, and ole Austin just doesn't know how to hang with the cool cats in 1997. Thankfully he has the help of British Ministry of Defence agent Vanessa Kensington (Elizabeth Hurley), and he starts to figure out the ins and outs of the decade and they go after Dr. Evil. 

"International Man of Mystery" is a lot of fun, and while there are a handful of jokes that have aged like milk, it's easy to understand why the franchise blew up and spawned two sequels. The dynamic between Dr. Evil and his teenage son, Scott Evil, is hilarious, and the villains run away with the movie, leading to all kinds of wacky references to the character on sketch shows, MTV, and more. 

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)

"Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" leans harder into the Dr. Evil side of things, revealing that Scott 's mother is actually Frau Farbissina (Mindy Sterling) and giving him a mini-clone in Mini-Me (Verne Troyer). In the sequel, Dr. Evil uses a time machine to go to the 1960s, after Powers had been frozen, in order to  steal his "mojo." Austin ends up going back to 1969 to stop Dr. Evil's next nefarious plan and get back his mojo, if he can, along with the help of CIA agent Felicity Shagwell (Heather Graham). 

Some of the best moments in the franchise are in "The Spy Who Shagged Me," including Dr. Evil and Mini-Me singing a modified version of Will Smith's "Just the Two of Us," not to mention the extended death of Will Ferrell's character (again) after he falls off a cliff. Graham is also absolutely pitch-perfect as Felicity, who gets put into a variety of compromising situations and has to still look fabulous and be funny. (There's also Dr. Evil and Scott on "Jerry Springer," which absolutely killed in theaters in 1999.) Myers also introduces a third character that he plays, in the form of villain Fat Bastard, but the less said about that character, the better. 

Like many trilogies, the second film in the Austin Powers films is the strongest, with a good balance between the awkward and earnest goofiness of Powers' mojo storyline with the pure camp kookiness of Dr. Evil's familial fracas. 

Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)

Time-travel comes back into play again in "Austin Powers in Goldmember," as Dr. Evil goes back to 1975 to team up with Dutch supervillain Goldmember (Myers) to kidnap Austin's father Nigel (Michael Caine). Austin goes back as well to try and do some reconnaissance, where he enlists the help of former lover Foxxy Cleopatra (Beyoncé). Goldmember takes Nigel to 2002 to try and hide him from Austin, who brings Foxxy back with him to the "present" and hilarity and spy antics ensue.

"Goldmember" gets truly wacky, including an opening with a fake Austin Powers movie starring Tom Cruise as Austin (and a bunch of other big name cameos). There'a also a plotline in which Dr. Evil and Austin are actually brothers, separated in infancy. It's incredibly quotable and a lot of fun, with Beyoncé running away as the MVP as the fiercely funny Foxxy. There's just a little too much going on in "Goldmember," with Myers playing four major characters (he also plays Fat Bastard again) and a whole lot of weird accents flying around. It's entertaining, but it's excessive. 

We may never see an "Austin Powers 4," but the three films and TV special we do have are all pretty great. They're time-travel spy spoof movies that pull from multiple decades of spy movies while still being perfect time capsules of their own era, and they're really funny. They also have killer soundtracks with artists like Lenny Kravitz, Madonna, and, of course, Beyoncé. Now that you know how to watch them in order, go check them out! 

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