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Austin Powers in Goldmember

Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)

July. 26,2002
| Comedy Crime Science Fiction

The world's most shagadelic spy continues his fight against Dr. Evil. This time, the diabolical doctor and his clone, Mini-Me, team up with a new foe—'70s kingpin Goldmember. While pursuing the team of villains to stop them from world domination, Austin gets help from his dad and an old girlfriend.


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Sean Lamberger

Mike Myers is literally everywhere in his third romp as the super suave (and super dated) gentleman spy, playing four significant parts under hefty amounts of makeup and gear. He's still surprisingly funny, as is the film itself, although the screen often feels terribly crowded and the constant diversions and subplots get carried away. Much more than the two preceding films, Goldmember is a Python-esque collage, a string of skits and strung-out gags with a loose connecting narrative wound in-between. It's joyfully energetic, like a toddler, with an attention span to match. The goofs and send-ups themselves range from hilarious to beaten-to-death (particularly the dumb obsession with one character's absurdly huge mole, which is trotted out in at least three different scenes) and occasionally lean on a weirdly hyper-focused topical humor that's showing its age now. Many of the old bits from preceding films are rolled back out for an encore, but they're matched at least shot-for-shot with new segments that, surprisingly, hold their own. It's particularly important that the jokes land, because the plot is mostly scraps and stabs. Michael Caine is an inspired choice as Austin's long-lost father, but the two don't get much screen time together and it feels like a wasted opportunity. Beyoncé's take on the classic blaxploitation-era heroine type is spirited, if light and inessential. Despite the shortcomings, it's still good for a few big laughs and my wife and I reference it somewhat regularly. I prefer it to The Spy Who Shagged Me, though it can't hope to match the heart, balance or ingenuity of the original.


After watching this third installment of the Austin Powers film series, one can't help but wonder how director Jay Roach can get by with using the same type of humor for three go-'rounds. Well, the answer is simple: The characters are just too darn funny to get old!For a basic plot summary, "Goldmember" sees Austin Powers (Mike Myers) once again battling Dr. Evil (Myers), this time with 1970s "supervillain" Goldmember (Myers), a spoof of the classic James Bond villain Goldfinger, thrown in for good measure.Once again, the same basic jokes and tone of humor is used in this effort, but it just never seems to get old in the least. Plus, more of an actual storyline (dealing with "daddy issues") is present in this one than in its two predecessors. New characters Nigel Powers (Michael Caine) & Foxy Cleopatra (Beyonce) also add a bit of spice to the cast.Overall, this film simply keeps the Austin Powers comedy ball rolling. It may have slipped a tiny bit from "The Spy Who Shagged Me", but nowhere near enough to drop it a star ranking.


It's easy to forget that the first time the world was introduced to Mike Myers' wonky-toothed and bespectacled British superspy back in 1997 with Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, precious few people went to see it. The film eventually gathered a huge following when it was released on VHS, and the formula was recycled again for the smash-hit sequel, The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999). The character and his arch-nemesis Dr. Evil are now so ingrained in popular culture that it's quite bizarre to think that you could once shout "oh, behave!" or "yeah, baby!" at a friend to receive a look of utter bewilderment in return.The franchise proved so popular that its two sequels repeated the same gags and failed to really move the story on. Despite this obvious flaw, The Spy Who Shagged Me and the (as of 2016) final instalment Goldmember still managed to generate enough belly laughs to give them a pass, often relying on the irresistible comedic charm of its star Mike Myers. However, it was clear that the series was running out of steam by the time number 3 came around, as Goldmember remains the least funny of the trilogy, introducing a forgettable baddie in the form of the titular gold-obsessed, skin-munching Dutch supervillain, also played by Myers.Yet the film kicks off with the greatest gag of all the movies. Just as we think we're watching an over-the-top set-piece from one of Austin's missions, its soon revealed to be a movie within a movie, with Tom Cruise wearing the spectacles and Kevin Spacey as Dr. Evil. We are then treated to the expectedly ridiculous, but entirely endearing, opening dance sequence, this time involving Britney Spears. Its a level of hilarity that the remainder of the movie sadly fails to maintain. For the first time we get to meet Austin's father in the form of Michael Caine, and Beyonce Knowles donning an impressive afro and plenty of sass as Foxxy Cleopatra, in a loving tribute to blaxploitation.The bulk of the movie consists of the characters being restrained by their own eccentricities, which after two previous movies starts to stretch the humour a bit thin. Like Fat Bastard from the second entry, Goldmember is a one-joke character when the joke isn't that funny to begin with. His innuendos and disgusting habit repulse to the point of being simply unpleasant. Its at its best when it sticks to what made the franchise so lovable to begin with - the Bond pastiches. There's a ludicrous masterplan in there somewhere and the scenes in which Austin and Evil go face-to-face are as priceless as ever, but when Myers tries to insert some dramatic weight to the mix involving Austin's daddy issues the movie starts to drag. By the end, its clear that he picked the right time to wave goodbye to his most successful character (although he hasn't had much luck since).


Having recently revisited the Austin Powers franchise, it was abundantly clear within 10 minutes that this 3rd offering was not up to par. In fact, I would go as far as to say this instalment was a mistake by all involved.Here are some reasons that stand out: 1) Poorly recycled jokes from the previous films at nearly every opportunity. I get they were trying to tie them together in an attempt to make it funny, but it just highlighted how they had run out of good ideas.2) The Fat Bastard cameos were neither welcome nor warranted. The character was best left as he was and the attempts to 'humanise' him fell flat. The film did not need him.3) Goldmember was not a good new character.Poorly thought out.4) The 'mole' incident was excruciating and went on too long, and shouldn't have happened multiple times! 5) Mini Me changing sides, and dressing up as Austin was rather annoying.6) They ran out of ideas for Scott Evil and so by making him evil ruined his character. The lasting image of him doing 'the laugh' sums this up.7) The 70'sish scenes were too over the top, even for a film like this, and didn't feel as believable or as fun as the 60's from the first films.8) I know that these films were never meant to be plot driven, but the previous two flowed better and were not just about the gags. This 1 felt like it ditched the story somewhat to focus on an all out assault.9) The 'Just the Two of Us' scene from 'The Spy Who Shagged Me' was fun and surprising, and felt natural. The follow up here of 'Hard Knock Life' was exactly the opposite, considering they were in a prison. It felt forced and was overly annoying.10) Beyonce's character added little to the film beyond adding clichéd 70'sness.11) Michael Caine?! Michael Caine as Austin's dad was pointless and didn't need to be there. His character was completely unnecessary.12) The cameos were far too excessive and only to show off who they could fit into the film. They didn't fit nicely with the film.13) The 'Silence of The Lambs' parody was AWFUL! Rant over! At least I had more fun writing that than I did watching this film.I heard there was talks of a 4th film but this may or may not ever happen. If it did I still have enough respect for the franchise to check it out. However, this was a complete mess, and if it was anything like this then it will be ruined forever.