Austin Powers in Goldmember Review

by Homer Yen (homer_yen AT yahoo DOT com)
July 26th, 2002

"Austin Powers: Goldmember" – A Swinging Good Time
by Homer Yen
(c) 2002

You can easily tell the Austin Powers cast is glad to be back. The environment is like a friendly bar scene where everyone knows your name. Everyone is like an old friend, and the good times and the goofy antics just roll out like water cascading down a mountainside. Just how carefree are they? Well, in the final scene where all of the main characters have their climactic battle, you'll notice that none of the henchman extras lift a finger. They're just cozily sitting at their stations smiling at the action.

Mike Myers, most definitely, looks extremely happy and comfortable reprising his role as the shagedelic 60s swinger. He's here to have a good time. He's here to get down/get funky. And he's definitely not here to "be-e-h-a-a-a-v-e." Just check out the sequence involving Austin and Mini-Me behind a curtain in which their silhouettes appear to be doing some nasty things, or the sequence in which Dr. Evil and his wrinkled female associate playfully lick their tongues and smack their lips at one another. The opening scene is also zippy when two Asian kittens introduce themselves to Austin. Immediately, he checks his list of "Things to Do Before He Dies." Not surprisingly, it's to have a threesome with Japanese twins. That’s funny stuff.

He's truly a man for the ages. In fact, Austin ably negotiates the culture of the 60s, 70s and today. And, only he has enough charisma to earn the respect of Foxxy Cleopatra (Beyonce Knowles), a down-with-it 70s beauty whose body and mind screams "I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar." In Austin's case, it makes him growl. But never mind. They team up to track down Dr. Evil, for he has teamed up with a new villain named Goldmember (also played by Myers), whose private parts were gilded in a freak smelting accident.

The charisma factor gets turned up a notch with the inclusion of Michael Caine, who plays Austin's Dad. He has been kidnapped by the evil-doers. It's part of a more elaborate plan involving world domination and all that other good James Bond-like stuff. And it's up our international man of mystery and his bootylicious sidekick to rescue the world.

Still, for all of its energy, there is some weakness to it. And that is, there is no central character. Mike Myers plays 4 different roles and while he is the life of the party, one of his characters (probably Powers) should have stood out a bit more. There was no one to really love and no one to really root for.

However, "Austin Powers: Goldmember" is a crowd-pleasing comedy that goes all out to provide laughter and giggles. It piles on the puns, the cruel jokes, the double entendres, the bathroom humor, and the generally childish behavior that makes our anachronistic spy so affable and makes us say, "yeah, baby, yeah." Everyone wants to get in on the fun and there are even cameos by the Osbornes, Tom Cruise, Britany Spears, and many others. The silliness is absolutely relentless. How can one really complain?

Grade: B

S: 1 out of 3
L: 1 out of 3
V: 1 out of 3

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