Austin Powers in Goldmember Reviewby Shannon Patrick Sullivan (shannon AT morgan DOT ucs DOT mun DOT ca)
July 29th, 2002
AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER (2002) / ** 1/2
Directed by Jay Roach. Screenplay by Mike Myers and Michael McCullers, based on characters created by Myers. Starring Myers, Beyoncé Knowles, Michael Caine. Running time: 95 minutes. Rated AA for offensive language by the MFCB. Reviewed on July 29th, 2002.
By SHANNON PATRICK SULLIVAN
Synopsis: Criminal mastermind Dr Evil (Myers) summons the scheming Goldmember (Myers) from the past to build a tractor beam with which to hold the Earth hostage. He is opposed by his arch-enemy, international man of mystery Austin Powers (Myers), and an American secret agent from the Seventies named Foxy Cleopatra (Knowles). They must find a way to defeat Dr Evil's latest plot and rescue Austin's estranged father, Nigel Powers (Caine), held prisoner in Dr Evil's lair.
Review: On the one hand, the "Austin Powers" franchise is undoubtedly experiencing the law of diminishing returns. However, the series started out so strongly that "Goldmember" still holds up pretty well. There are some comic gems to be found here, like a scene in which Nigel declares that there are two types of people he loathes: those who are intolerant of other cultures, and the Dutch. It's this sort of verbal wordplay which made the first "Austin" so memorable, and it's a shame that much of "Goldmember" is dominated by the brand of scatological comedy so prevalent in recent Hollywood comedies. Not only does Goldmember possess a stomach-churning eating habit, but we also endure the return of Myers' most disgusting creation, Scottish henchman Fat Bastard. Still, Myers is in fine form as both Powers and, especially, the wonderful Dr Evil; he particularly rises to the occasion in scenes involving the excellent Caine. Pop singer Knowles does no worse than her "Austin" predecessors as the requisite girl partner, although the film makes sadly little use of Foxy Cleopatra as a pastiche of Seventies blaxpoitation pics. Indeed, "Goldmember" seems to have largely forgotten that it's a genre parody and not just a straight comedy, and it's this sort of laziness that suggests that, after three installments, the series has run out of steam.
Copyright © 2002 Shannon Patrick Sullivan.
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