Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)
Directed by Jay Roach

Artistic Value: * * *
Entertainment Value: * * * ½

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Austin Powers (Myers), a secret agent frozen in the 1960s, reawakened in the 1990s, and now living in the first decade of the Twenty-First Century, attempts to foil an insidious plot concocted by his old arch-rival, Dr. Evil, and a new opponent, Goldmember, involving a tractor beam and a golden meteor.

Mike Myers' Austin Powers in Goldmember, directed by Jay Roach, is a funny but uninspired comedy.

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There is, in fact, little that can be said about Goldmember that cannot be said of Myer's two previous Austin Powers films as virtually every element of Goldmember has been borrowed from one or both of its predecessors. The characters are largely the same. The conflicts are the same. The jokes are the same. Somehow, in spite its lack of originality, much of the movie is, however, at least mildly amusing.

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Most of the film's humor depends either on sexual innuendos or evocations of revulsion. There are numerous double entendres, repeated references to the bowel movements of a character named Fat Bastard, and several jokes about Goldmember's predilection for eating his own peeling skin. Some of the innuendos are genuinely funny, but, as is often the case with humor intended to shock, titillate, or disgust, many of the jokes and skits, especially those involving the two characters just mentioned, are forced, painful, and juvenile.

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Scattered among its countless hackneyed jokes and tiresome routines, Goldmember does, nevertheless, include a number of humorous moments. A sequence in which a guard misinterprets the actions of Austin Powers and Dr. Evil's diminutive clone Mini-Me by watching their shadows on an intervening screen, while taken from a scene in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, is actually fairly amusing. A conversation between Austin and his father (Michael Caine), in which the two speak to each other in such exaggerated Cockney slang that it requires subtitles to be understood, is also funny, as is a scene in which characters speaking Japanese are provided with subtitles which are made obscene by their being partly obscured by the white background against which they are displayed. Several other scenes, in which the viewer's attention is drawn to the fact that the movie, though set in England, was obviously filmed in Southern California, are clever enough to arouse the odd chuckle. Even though none of these sequences is truly hilarious, all of them are entertaining.


I cannot honestly say that Austin Powers in Goldmember is ever wildly funny or clever, but it is an enjoyable film.

Review by Keith Allen

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