Review: Austin Powers in Goldmember

by Jake Sproul

Rating: (out of )

Austin Powers returns in this third installment, titled (after much controversy) Goldmember. I have always found the character of Austin Powers funny, but 1999ís The Spy Who Shagged Me was disappointing at best, and I am very pleased to see that Goldmember, while frequently distasteful, is also frequently funny.

Goldmember features an opening sequence that triggered hysterics from the audience as well as myself. It is chock full of cameos from Hollywood royalty, including Tom Cruise, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Steven Spielberg. But after 10 minutes of comic heaven, Goldmember lulls back into its expected, yet humorous groove. In this third entry into the franchise, Mike Myers adds a new character to his repertoire, that of Goldmember. Unfortunately, Goldmember isnít nearly as funny as he is intended to be, and causes yawns more often that laughs. Making her film debut is Beyonce Knowles (of Destinyís Child) who proves herself as a far superior comedic backboard to Mike Myers than her predecessor, Heather Graham. Also new is Michael Caine as Nigel, AustinĎs inattentive father. His appearance in the film is an ironic delight, Michael Caineís character Harry Palmer from several films in the 60ís is whom Austin Powers is based on!

As usual, the plot revolves around Dr. Evilís attempt to destroy the world. Dr. Evil teams up with Goldmember, and they form a plan to slam an asteroid into the ice caps, causing a global flood. Austinís first duty though, is to go back to 1975 and bring back his father who has been captured by Goldmember and being held nearly 3 decades in the past. While in 1975, he teams up with Foxxy Cleopatra, also a spy.

Kudos go to director Jay Roach, who is pretty much exclusive to the Austin Powers franchise, (his other major directing credit comes from Meet the Parents.) He shows he has talent. All of the cameos are done with class and wit, and he takes on the daunting task of several musical numbers. All of which are some of the most hilarious moments in the film.

The comedy is what makes a film like this a success or not. Goldmemberís comedy is often funny, but mostly recycled. A lot of the jokes have been used before in the previous installment, and have lost their sting. Especially when it came to the physical comedy. Mike Myers seems to be relying heavily on these gross out, guaranteed laughs. I think the film would have been a lot more comical had the jokes been more comical had there been a few more satirical quips, and a touch less of the bathroom humor.

Goldmember isnít 24 carats, but when the dust has settled, Goldmember has more hits than misses. Or at least enough hits to reccommend.

© 2002 Jake Sproul

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