He said/she said: ‘Austin Powers in Goldmember’: Shagadelic or rancid?
(She says/ four-and-a-half stars): The International Man of Mystery’s mojo is still groovy in “Austin Powers in Goldmember.”
The third time isn’t always a charm with movie sequels, but Mike Myers’ stamina for shagadelic physical and verbal antics climax throughout the new sequel, beginning with a mind-blowing Britney Spears vs. flower-children video sequence and ending with an ejaculation of surprise at the end.
I’m not sure why I love Austin Powers so much. Apparently, his mojo doesn’t work on all women, as one of my co-workers hates him, comparing him to the Three Stooges. I hated the Three Stooges (for this, I know I risk hate mail); maybe it’s that they weren’t in touch with their genitalia and the shadows they could cast.
Though the second Austin Powers movie fell a little limp (that’s what happens when you lose your mojo), “Goldmember” stood firm like the ladies’ man on Viagra.
The movie explodes with dynamic costumes and sets, including Austin Powers’ 1975 pimp mobile decked out with oversized fuzzy dice he couldn’t help but fondle. The golden disco era spills over the silver screen, and this time, Foxxy Cleopatra enters the new millennium, decked out in shimmering threads and an afro that stands up to any hooded wet suit.
The rhythm of the character and plot developments creates a nice chemistry with the fertile spoofs, giving the audience ample opportunity to appreciate Myers’ twisted wit along the wild ride.
Myers took the best offspring from his second sequel, Mini-Me, and ran with it, endowing him with a third leg, of sorts, upon which to stand. Who knew the little fellow had such potential?
Surprisingly, Powers lays off the shagging scenes in this sequel, instead preferring to deal with his emotional ties to his father. He flashes back to his teen-age school years in a Star-Wars-like-revisitation-to-fill-in-the-missing-episodes scene with his roommate, young Dr. Evil. In keeping with the “Star-Wars” theme, Powers uncovers a shocking truth while trying to stop the evil Goldmember.
Though Goldmember is a major player (in more ways than one) in this movie, I found him a bit flat and unimpressive, even with his solid gold “johnson.” Despite his weak characterization, screams of laughter erupted throughout the movie Monday night in the packed Skyline Cinema. Yeah, baby.
(He says/three stars): Throw me a bone here, people. I didn’t spend four years in an evil journalism school to write about frickin’ THIRD INSTALLMENTS. Really.
Why must I be surrounded by frickin’ sequels? Now that “Austin Powers in Goldmember,” the second sequel, has rolled around, to borrow a phrase, it’s kind of like the village bicycle: Everybody’s had a ride, including not only Mike Myers’ title character, but also returning characters – Fat Bastard, Number Two (Robert Wagner), Mini-Me (Verne Troyer), Frau Farbissina (Mindy Sterling) and Scott Evil (Seth Green) – have had a ride. So, my evil scheme will be to defeat my nemesis by revealing the entirety of the plot in his new movie. That is, unless the World Organization agrees to remit to the Summit Daily the sum of S one MILLION dollars. First, there’s a surprise ending –
– Sh! –
– and cameos –
– Sh! –
– family relationships –
– Sh! –
– and some extremely clever jokes involving –
– Sh! –
There’s nothing as pathetic as an aging franchise, and after “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me,” I thought this one was about as moribund as Mama Cass, post ham sandwich. And sure, there are flaws in the third installment: Myers’ Austin Powers character lost much of his charm about halfway through the second movie, and the shopworn plot basically serves to keep the jokes coming.
But the beauty of the “Austin Powers” franchise is the details of the plot S summers in Rangoon and luge lessons notwithstanding S are really quite inconsequential. It’s more interesting to see who Myers shows up as next. And while the plot of “Goldmember” revisits a lot of Powers’ old swinging territory, the jokes still work – maybe just one last time.
This time out, Myers adds the Goldmember to his repertoire, Michael Caine shows up as Austin’s swinging father and Destiny’s Child singer Beyonce Knowles is a high-calibre (and by caliber, I not only mean her shooting prowess in the action scenes, but also the high quality of her midriff S it’s a homonym S forget it S) Powers girl – although she gets little chance to show any acting range beyond informing much of the rest of the cast, “You’re under arrest, sugar.”
So, in terms of cinematic experience, “Saving Private Ryan” it ain’t. But as long as Myers is engaging in franchise-expanding humor while at the same time promiscuously engaging his audiences with many semi-anonymous characters, the “Austin Powers” serial will be – for better or worse – sound as a pound.
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