The opening of AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER is brilliant, but, like
some other films (MAN ON THE MOON), the rest of the movie never rises
to the level of the beginning. I'd like to hope that other critics
won't give away the opening, but I'm afraid most will blow it and
tell you more than you need to know, which is a shame since the surprise
factor is a key to its success.
The plot this time concerns an evil character named Goldmember (Mike
Myers) who, along with Dr. Evil (Myers), has captured Nigel Powers
(Michael Caine), Austin's (Myers) father, and taken him to 1975.
In a garish, pink and lavender "pimpmobile," Austin is sent back to
the past to rescue his dear old dad. The story, which focuses less
on shagging and more on Austin's "daddy issues," is the sweetest Austin
yet and the best in the series.
More cute than funny, the movie does possess some good laughs and
several delightful musical numbers, including "It's A Hard Knock Life,"
from ANNIE. Typical of its raunchy humor are its James Bond-like
names, filled with sexual innuendo. One of Austin's dreams comes
true when a pair of gorgeous Japanese twins come on to him. Their
names? Fook Mi and Fook Yu.
Among the parts of the film that I could do without are almost every
scene including Fat Bastard (Myers), one of the grossest characters
in the cinema. With his non-stop bathroom humor, he is someone whom
I can barely tolerate. Goldmember also has a simple, despicable habit
that is guaranteed to gross you out in ways that you probably haven't
thought about before.
The movie's fast and fun, and, if you don't like some of the jokes,
that's no problem since it throws them at you faster than you can
catch them anyway. Other than Fat Bastard's appearance, my only other
complaint with the picture is the absence of Ms. Felicity Shagwell
(Heather Graham) as Austin's sidekick. The woman this time, Foxxy
Cleopatra (Beyoncé Knowles), is cute but just doesn't have the sassy,
sexy swagger of Graham's Shagwell.
AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER runs 1:36. It is rated PG-13 for "sexual
innuendo, crude humor and language" and would be acceptable for kids around 12 and up.
My son Jeffrey, age 13, thought it was hilarious and gave it a full
****. His favorite part was the beginning.
Copyright © 2002 Steve Rhodes