Austin Powers in Goldmember
***.7 BM
Starring: Mike Myers, Beyonce Knowles, Seth Green, Verne Troyer, Mindy Sterling, Robert Wagner, Michael Caine


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Ye gods, this movie was just insane.

The first film was a straight up Bond-movie parody. The second film was sorta the same thing, but it was peppered with a little more goofball weirdness. This film is a constant barrage of crazy shit that makes no sense, and that makes it quite the laff riot.

I'd go into the plot, but there's really not much of a point to it. Dr. Evil has a crackpot scheme that involves getting a Dutch disco dude from the 70s named Goldmember to give him some information about where a solid gold meteor is so he can destroy Earth with it, but gets caught, then escapes, and then weird stuff happens. Oh, and Austin Powers' dad is Michael Caine, and he doesn't seem to like Austin. Oh, and there's a chick from Destiny's Child walking around in an afro wig.

These characters are so well established and much-beloved now that the whole gang feels comfortable with taking insane liberties and just doing the weirdest, goofiest stuff out of left field, and I'm all for that. I was expecting just another rehash of the same jokes, but it didn't really happen this time. They feinted that way a few times, but usually just mocked themselves whenever they used an old bit - yet the self-referential stuff wasn't used TOO much, which is a constant danger when employing that little comedy gem. It can easily become comedy zirconium.

There's just something inherently pleasing about watching Mike Myers goof around. There's a lot of potty humor, but for every time it's eye-rollingly lame, there's another time where it's done with enough weird off-kilterness (like Fat Bastard's scenes) that it made me giggle like a third grader anyway. Beeeeyoooooonce Knowles is a one-joke superfluous character, really (I'm not sure if I like the fact that they didn't even bother to explain the absence of Felicity Shagwell, or if I'm sad that they didn't make a funny joke out of it), although it's about 1975 when Austin goes to fetch her, and she make some crack to Austin about '7 years without a phone call!' or something, which means that when Austin was frozen in 1968, he owed Foxy Cleopatra a phone call for some reason... and considering the fact that Beeeeeyaaaaaaaatche Knowles is only about 20 years old or something I.... oh, no... I've gone cross-eyed. It's best not to think about these things, and that goes for you, too.

I think the best indication of my opinion of this film is that, after seeing a sneak preview, I've been giggling like mad at just about every commercial I see for it, which makes me think 'crap, I have to go see this thing again!' Yes, I am a fan of ridiculous comedy. Huzzah.

Second Viewing Update: So, I did go see this again, as I felt I needed to, only to discover that the comic highlights I was selectively remembering no longer seemed to outshine the bits that dragged. There was still some serious funny, but there was also some seriously less-than-funny. There's some real drag, baby. So I would suggest only seeing it once, to maximize enjoyment.
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