Review: Austin Powers in Goldmember

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Directed by: Jay Roach

Written by: Mike Myers & Michael McCullers

Starring: Mike Myers, Beyoncé Knowles, Seth Green, Michael York, Robert Wagner, Mindy Sterling

Rating: [2.5/5]

Films start out with the best intentions and as they continue to make money and sequels get spawned, they get watered down and the end result simply shows a shell of the original product. Austin Powers in Goldmember doesn’t sink that far down in the quality wheel but it gets closer than it should have. 

After stopping Dr. Evil’s (Mike Myers) latest plot to have a meteor crash into Earth, Austin Powers (Mike Myers) learns about his father being taken by the crew members of Goldmember (Mike Myers). With the help of Foxxy Cleopatra (Beyoncé Knowles), Powers must stop the new villain and save his absentee father as well. 

With the third and final film of the installment, more than ever, Mike Myers shows that he ran out of gas with these characters and the missions they must encounter. It’s been quite the decline since International Man of Mystery and hopefully, there’s not a chance to sink any lower than this film. While still having some funny moments because the character of Austin Powers will always have some comedy, everything else around him just feels stale, bland, and unnecessary. 

Seeing as time travel is something one can easily use now, Powers heads to 1975 where he meets up with Foxxy and confronts Goldmember. Being in this new era should ignite something different considering the other films took place in the 60s and 90s. There should be something interesting for the film in the 70s, but it had nothing entirely promising in the story. It comes down to the character of Goldmember. Dr. Evil still has his moments throughout the film, but the rivalry of Evil and Powers made the other two films so good. In the attempt to freshen things up, they simply introduce a character that’s incredibly uninspiring. The character was portrayed by Myers like Dr. Evil, but the jokes written for the character really didn’t land. 

Stepping in as the partner this time around is Beyoncé in one of her first attempts at acting. She did much better than I expected as the character of Foxxy. She brought the 70s flair to the character and she worked well with Myers just like the other female partners. That ultimately distinguishes the success of the film. The heroes brought the usual good material, but the villain side severely lacked anything of substance.

Among the other famous British actors serving their roles in the film, Michael Caine steps in as Austin Powers’s father, Nigel Powers. He serves a similar role as Sean Connery in The Last Crusade, as he portrays a father character that shows up in the third film of the series, needs saving, and has a very suave connection with women. It was quite fun to see Caine take on this type of role because I have mostly known him for his more recent works. His presence in the film makes me want to go back into his earlier work and see what a younger Michael Caine brought to the world of cinema. In this role, he delivered some decent jokes, but nothing that has not been seen before. 

The biggest shame of this film comes from it being unnecessary. There are other sequels out there that have inferior quality but you understand their placement in the overarching series. In the case of Austin Powers in Goldmember, it feels like a tired attempt because the series kept making money and the studio saw this as an opportunity to rake in more cash. Despite its quality, it certainly achieved that, which proves the great popularity of these films. I can look at this film as a whole and see it as a disappointment, but still enjoy some of the sparkling moments of gold sprinkled in there which Mike Myers can certainly provide. 

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