I presume that you are asking why I posted the screen caps from Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997).
The “Evacuation” scene is brilliant. It goes on for almost an entire minute, cutting between Powers (who has just been thawed out via the “Warm Liquid Goo Phase” and then cleaned) and the military leaders, who are waiting for him.
How many science fiction movies have used some sort of cryogenic/suspended animation element where people wake up months or years later? Eleventyhundred? And how many of them dealt with the very basic reality of “DAMN, I’VE GOTTA PEE”?
(Of course, we are expected to suspend our disbelief that he would have gone through the shower phase without peeing, but that’s Hollywood for ya.)
I loved this:
That may only be funny if you are used to standing while you pee, but every guy over the age of 20 can relate. You just woke up, you staggered to the bathroom, and the “morning constitutional” takes so long that you decide to prop yourself up with your hand against the wall.
Every guy has done this, especially after a long night.
Austin Powers has been ‘asleep’ for 30 years, so it makes sense that he would need “a little extra” time.
But the military guys steal the scene. None of them has a word of dialogue, all they have to do is wait for a guy to finish peeing. But they do a superb job of it, mirroring what the audience is feeling.
When I saw the movie in the theater and this scene came on, I remember thinking:
- “HA! That’s funny.”
- “Ok, I get it, move on.”
- “Seriously? They’re taking all of this time on this one joke?”
- “Ok, I’m laughing again.”
Somewhere in step 3 I started to come around to it because it just went on for soooooooooooooo long. (TWSS.)
The best part is that after 60 long seconds of that, including 15 seconds of the computer voice trying to say “Evacuation Complete” and Austin “trickling”, we hear him start what sounds like a very… extensive “round two” and we see this:
and the scene ends.
After having set us up to expect that this could keep going on and on, after waiting long enough for us to get past the resistance to the scene and come back around to it being funny again, it starts the cycle over again and then cuts it off before we’re ready.
I’m sure Austin Powers 1 wasn’t the first movie to use this “keep the joke going on long enough that it goes from funny-to-unfunny-to-funny again” but it certainly wasn’t common. So many other places has done it since, but I can’t think of any who have done it as well.
There’s also a later scene where Dr. Evil and his cohorts are laughing together very maniacally… a very common “Here we see the bad guys plotting” scene. But this time the camera stays with them and eventually the laughter fades and they’re all just standing there like every awkward moment at every awkward party you’ve ever been to when someone told a joke and everyone laughed and then the conversation died and everyone is trying to figure out if anyone is going to say anything.
I think it’s one of the reasons that the first Austin Powers movie was so good, and why it’s still funny 15 years later.