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Austin Powers in Goldmember

New Line // PG-13 // July 26, 2002
List Price: Unknown

Review by Blake Kunisch | posted July 26, 2002 | E-mail the Author
I remember sitting in a movie theater five years ago, not knowing what to expect from Mike Myers. Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery had just been released and, while it looked funny from the commercials, no one knew exactly what Mr. Myers had planned. What followed was a film that was able to spoof almost every other spy movie in existence with a brand of comedy only Mike Myers could pull off. The result, while not a huge hit at the box office, gained a cult following after it hit video - large enough - to spawn a sequel. The sequel, in one weekend, did more business than the first did in its entire run, and cemented Austin Powers a spot in movie history. While the sequel was the second in the franchise, it was the first truly successful Austin Powers movie and just cried out for another sequel.

Unfortunately, this time, the sequel has gone the way of many other great films as they try to capitalize on a brand name: Ghostbusters 2, The Mummy Returns, Jurassic Park: The Lost World...the list goes on. Throughout the first two films of the Austin Powers franchise, the material was new and fresh, first we had Dr. Evil, and then we were introduced to Mini Me. This time around, there's nothing new - aside from the villain - and, while Mini Me and Dr. Evil are still funny in their own right, we've been there and done that. Not to say that Goldmember isn't funny - at times, it is. It's just that it's getting old, and while the Bond franchise continues to thrive, I'm afraid the Austin Powers franchise is about to die. Action never gets old - comedy, especially stuff that we've already seen, does.

Now that we're done talking about the Austin Powers franchise, let's focus on the movie. How does Goldmember stack up? Well, the premise is fairly complicated, as opposed to the first two films. Austin's father has been kidnapped and taken back in time to 1975 where the evil Goldmember is holding him on Dr. Evil's orders. Austin travels back in time to rescue his dad and meets up with his sidekick for the rest of the movie, Foxxy Cleopatra (Beyoncé Knowles). Unfortunately, Austin isn't able to rescue his dad, who is taken back to 2002 by Goldmember who then meets up with Dr. Evil. All the while, Dr. Evil is preparing a plan (A-G fail, so it's Preparation H) to use a "tractor beam" to bring an asteroid of gold, "Midas 22," to earth which will melt the polar ice cap and flood the earth, unless the World Organization pays him a large sum of money. Throw in Mr. Roboto (insert obvious joke here), Fat Bastard, Scott Evil (Seth Green), and, of course, fricken' sharks with fricken' lasers on their heads, and we've got another Austin Powers film, so convoluted, so mixed-up, with the same jokes re-hashed over and over again, it's enough to drive someone to insanity (or at least boredom).

One of the funniest parts of this film which has more downs than ups, is the star-studded opening scene featuring cameos from some of Hollywood's biggest stars. After watching this, I figured that Mike Myers had another huge hit on his hands, but unfortunately, it was only downhill from there. Taking the same jokes and combining them with the same characters as the first two films just doesn't work, and while one would think the franchise will die after this disappointing film, it most likely won't as the ending leaves it wide open for another sequel. Hopefully the next time around, Mike Myers will realize that the second film worked because it didn't just do the same thing as the first - it introduced new characters, had fresh jokes that were genuinely funny, and lampoons Bond and other spy films more than it did this time around.



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