Mike Myers
Beyonce Knowles
Verne Troyer
Michael York
Michael Caine
Seth Green
Robert Wagner
Mindy Sterling
Nichole Hiltz

Jay Roach



Time: 93 mins.
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Slapstick Comedy

I wasn't entirely sure the world of cinema needed another AUSTIN POWERS sequel, but after sitting through GOLDMEMBER, I'm looking forward to a fourth installment. The plot is fairly predictable – Austin, with lovely lady in tow, pulls out all the stops to foil Dr. Evil's latest plan for world domination – but that's not really the point. The charm of these films lies in Myers's ability to disappear into various characters, making them both sweet and hilarious. His best creations to date are still the two originals, Austin and Evil, though one has to give him kudos for trying. Goldmember, Austin's latest foe, and Fat Bastard rely too much on makeup and gross physical exaggerations for their characterizations for us to care all that much about them. In this go round, we really get under the skin of Austin and Evil, uncovering their pasts as they deal with the many emotional land mines between fathers and sons. Don't worry, this is about as deep as it gets.

The opening sequence is one of the best spoofs to ever grace the big screen, filled with action, wit and a few of Hollywood's biggest stars. The first 5 minutes are worth the price of admission alone. This time around Austin is forced to face his feelings about his never-there, super spy dad Nigel (Caine) when he's sent back to 1975 to rescue him from the gold-plated clutches of the nefarious Dutchman Goldmember. Goldmember has joined forces with Dr. Evil to conquer civilization with a scheme you have to see to believe. With the help of former lady love Foxxy Cleopatra (Knowles), Austin comes up with several plans of his own, both in the past and present to free his father and stop the destruction of Earth. He encounters old enemies – the disgusting Fat Bastard – and welcomes new partners – The Mole (played by Fred Savage). Loyalties are tested as new facts are brought to the surface. Old relationships are torn asunder leaving some out in the cold, seeking revenge. Everyone, especially Austin and Dr. Evil come to understand a little bit more about themselves and what they mean to each other.

Dr. Evil: "Welcome to my submarine lair! It's long, hard and full of seamen."

Along the way, there are plenty of double entendres, politically incorrect barbs, gross physical jokes and silly movie spoofs. Myers continues to make Austin and Dr. Evil fresh and funny. It's pure comic genius. Fat Bastard and Goldmember can only suffer in comparison, both one-joke wonders that have their moments, but are more caricatures than characters. Vern Troyer is brilliant as Mini-Me. He has a wonderful emotional arc in this film that he pulls of with humor, grace and pathos. If Myers wasn't playing 4 parts, he's steal the show. Caine adds real class to the proceedings, giving Austin a reason to grow. Seth Green makes the most of his screen time as the son who gives in to his evil nature and tries to become just like dad. His transformation is beyond hysterical, garnering some of the film's biggest laughs. I have to admit that I wasn't real impressed with the casting of Beyonce Knowles, but man, did she prove me wrong. She's sexy, sweet, funny and kicks major ass. She clearly has a good sense of humor and is a lovely counterpoint to Myers' Austin. It'll be interesting to see what she does next.

All in all, everyone associated with GOLDMEMBER should be proud of their work, though not necessarily of some of the tasteless humor portrayed within. The pacing, sets and comedy work better in this installment than in THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME, though it still isn't as funny as the original. Perhaps because we're familiar with the premise it never will be. The plot is almost too thin to sustain the running time, forcing Myers and company to use unnecessary and rehashed comic bits to fill the space. Regardless, whatever Myers comes up with next, I'll be there. His ability to create unique characters and a seemingly endless array of jokes is astounding. It's obvious the industry agrees by the hilarious A-List cameos that open and close this film. Ultimately, you get what you pay for – a raucous, funny, outrageous, mindless spy adventure. The perfect flick for those dog days of summer.

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