"Austin Powers in Goldmember"
Directed by Jay Roach.
Written by Michael McCullers and Mike Myers.
Starring Mike Myers, Beyoncé Knowles and Michael Caine.
Release Year: 2002
Review Date: 7/28/02
I am 27 years old. College-educated.
Reasonably sophisticated, in dress and in speech. My parents are
successful people—one a senior executive at a major financial
institution, the other a holder of a Ph.D and running her own
business. I read the editorial section of major metropolitan
newspapers, occasionally watch CNN and The Weather Channel for fun,
and love a good piece of classical music.
But in the 75th film I have seen this year
(!!), “Austin Powers in Goldmember”, I laughed so hard at sight gags
involving urinating into someone’s mouth, beating a midget with a
pole, disgusting moles on an intern’s face and character names like
Dixie Normus that I almost fell out of my chair three times.
That’s the big reason that this, the third
Austin Powers film, is my favorite of them all—I don’t know how
writer/star Mike Myers has found a formula to make people laugh at
some of the most infantile humor ever allowed in a PG-13 film, but
he’s found it. All of the members of my film group came out of
tonight’s showing shaking our heads; we were simply ashamed that
this many potty jokes made us laugh, but laugh we did, hard. A lot.
The plot this time around involves Austin
Powers (Myers) and his continuing, time-traveling fight against
nemesis Dr. Evil (Myers). Evil has utilized the help of a 1970s
club owner named Goldmember (Myers) to kidnap Powers’ dad Nigel
(Michael Caine) while developing a device that could flood North
America. So, with the help of an undercover agent named Foxy
Cleopatra (Beyonce Knowles), Austin and Foxy team up to take down
I liked the first film in this series,
“Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery”, but thought the
second film, “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me”, was a total
dog. Its main problem was, like all of the films in this series, it
features run-on improvisational jokes...but, in the second film,
they often fell flat the first time around, so when they would
resurface later in the film, it would fall flat again, and again,
and again. In this third film, it feels like there is more scripted
fun, rather than Myers’ penchant to just keep the camera rolling
while he makes up jokes with co-stars.
Evidence of this has to start with the
ridiculous number of cameos in the film, none of which I will ruin
here. Needless to say, though, most of these cameos work,
especially in an opening sequence that is my pick for funniest scene
in the whole series, and maybe in any movie this year; I was howling
along with the sold-out audience in my theater. Of course, this
opener wouldn’t have been possible if the other two films hadn’t
made so much damned money...but, as it were, this is a great
sequence. More evidence? The casting of rookie actress Knowles
(one of the singers in Destiny’s Child) in such a pivotal role for a
film this large. Rarely does she have to handle any of the humor in
the film—mostly it is just reaction shots to Myers. She is really
good, and really good-looking, and she doesn’t do anything out of
the ordinary to shift the focus away from the four characters that
Myers is playing in this film (the fourth being a cameo by Fat
Bastard, the only great thing about the previous film).
Sure, there are WAY too many product
placements in the film, but that is really starting to become the
norm so maybe I should just accept it. It is no more than
Report”, which seemed to subliminally tell me that I should go to
The Gap, buy some cargo shorts, and then go my nearest Lexus
dealer. Or, no more than the shameless
“Men in Black II”, which was
so over-the-top that I pulled my Sprint phone out during the film to
make sure I had it turned off. (Talk about a message film!) And,
the ending of “Austin Powers in Goldmember” left something to be
desired, even in the outtakes; I heard a lot of people saying “Huh?”
after the outtakes were finished. But, the first 75% of the film is
so funny that I can’t quarrel with what I saw.
I’m glad the hype machine is over since the
movie is out, and in what is becoming a good trend this summer, most
of the hyped-up films have actually been good. Only a couple more
“Blue Crush” (wait a minute...).
Rating: $9.00 Show
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Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard