Austin Powers in Goldmember Review

by Ram Samudrala (me AT ram DOT org)
September 26th, 2002

Austin Powers in Goldmember
http://www.ram.org/ramblings/movies/austin_powers.html

One of the interesting things about being creative is that once you stumble upon a great idea, it's hard to let go of it, let alone top it. All one can do is run around in circles around the space of the idea. There's nothing necessarily wrong with this: why mess with something that works? At the same time, there's a nagging feeling that one isn't really being that creative anymore.

Consider George Lucas and /Star Wars/. In the first film, he introduced us to concepts like the light sabre, the force, the Jedi Knights, etc., developing a rich mythology. In his latter films, he has pretty much stuck to variations of the same thing. The same could be said for many other films and other human endeavours. /Austin Powers in Goldmember/ is no exception.

The same gags seen in /International Man of Mystery/ and /The Spy Who Shagged Me/ are recycled here. But they are done with so much energy and a sense of fun, that it's a pleasure to watch them.

Here, Austin Powers (Mike Myers) travels back in time to stop the evil Goldmember (Powers) who is collaborating with Dr. Evil (Powers) to launch a device that will flood the earth. Aiding him in his quest is Foxy Cleopatra (Bernice Knowles) and his father (Michael Caine) who's also a Shagadelic Swinger himself, but who Austin can never seem to please.

Myers is great here as usual; he's so made up in his different characters that it's hard to remember what he looks like. Knowles acts in an incongruous manner (being loud at the weirdest of times), but all that matters is that she looks great and has a great smile.

Again, the shadow gag illustrates the genius hidden in the Austin Powers movie series, as do the gags involving the various terms used for a penis, and the opening scene where Powers parades around nude. But all these gags have been tried before in the previous films. There's a novel gag here in the opening sequence which features, within a span of minutes, a large number of surprises. This is the best five minutes of the film!

The ending this time has a twist, and portents things to come that might be somewhat different from what we've seen before, and perhaps great fun. /Austin Powers in Goldmember/ is a fun movie to watch; I definitely recommend checking it out on the big screen!

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