Austin Powers in Goldmember
- Jay Roach
- Reviewed by
- Gon Curiel a.k.a. Groucho
- Review date
- Wednesday, September 24, 2008
The film starts with a film-inside-a-film about Austin, which goes for every possible extreme in a surprising sequence that many people loved but I found to be too much. The real beginning comes as Dr. Evil presents his latest evil (and farfetched) plot to conquer the world, which he roots for regardless of the fact that his right arm, Number Two (Robert Wagner), has created a legal scheme to make the organization even richer. His plan is to travel to the past and bring a supervillain “back to the future”: Goldmember, a man so obsessed with gold that he got into an accident that replaced his genitals for a gold piece, hence the name. It’s obviously a play on Goldfinger (1964), one of the most famous James Bond flicks to which this one plays homage more than once.
International Man of Mystery Austin Powers stops the plot, but soon enough he finds out that his father, Nigel Powers (Michael Caine), who happens to be ten times more charming than him, and never proud enough of his son, has been kidnapped by that legendary evildoer and taken back in time. He goes back too, searching for his old man, and gets together with agent Foxxy Cleopatra (Beyoncé Knowles) to achieve his goals.
Of course it’s all rather trivial, but no matter, because the main structure is only an excuse for excellent jokes all the way. The one unforgivable fault is that the title character, Goldmember, played by Mike Myers, is everything but funny, and in fact quite trivial. Myers’ other three roles: Austin, Dr. Evil and Fat Bastard, are back and at the top of their games, but if we’re supposed to be at least a bit interested in the title, Goldmember should’ve been more intriguing.
That said, one can’t complain about much else. The family interactions were so successful in the previous films, that this one is almost exclusively about that: Scott Evil (Seth Green) finally breaking after much rejection from his father, Dr. Evil; diminutive Mini Me (Verne Troyer) facing rejection from the first time and changing sides; Austin struggling to achieve his father’s approval; and an unbearable revelation from the past that changes everything.
Of course, Burt Bacharach and much romanticism are back. A rendition of his song “Alfie” but with Hal David’s lyrics changed to “What’s it all about Austin” accompanies the final credits.
Other gags are better in concept than execution: while I laughed out loud about a subtitled scene, it was made so obvious I felt treated like an idiot, with Foxxy Cleopatra explaining every single joke. That scene also helped me realize how little Beyoncé had to do in the film overall: she’s an accessory, certainly the least memorable “Powers girl”, if such term exists.
Still, I had such a good time I decided I’ll eventually get my own private Austin Powers collection to rejoice at mainstream comedy cracking me up. I hope they keep up the good work.
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