Austin Powers in Goldmember
starring Mike Myers, Mike Myers, and Mike Myers
3 1/2 stars

by Stephen Notley

Yep, Goldmember's funny, as in laugh ha-ha funny good time at a comedy movie funny. Of course, you've got to dig the whole Austin Powers thing, but come on --who didn't like those movies? Nobody! Chances are, most people going to laugh and snirk and chuckle watching Goldmember.

It's just so darn appealing, the Austin Powers world, so bright and vivacious and colorful, so *happy*. You can almost feel the energy blowing off the screen, mussing your hair and plastering a big smile onto your face. 

Sure, it's still wall-to-wall pee jokes, poo jokes, fart jokes, weiner jokes, funny-accent and silly-talk jokes. Ah, but such pee jokes, such extended fart monologues. Mike Myers hasn't lost any of his improv touch, and if there's one thing improvers know how to do, it's how to milk and milk and milk, squirting laughs out of the audience long after you'd think it couldn't be funny anymore.

This is a shticky movie, shtickier even than the first two. There's a slightly self-digestive quality to Goldmember; if the first Austin Powers movie was a riff on James Bond, this third one is a riff on Austin Powers. We go in just assuming we already know a bunch of these characters' jokes, so we just move on to the next level of those jokes. It's self referential without being obnoxious. 

At the same time, since they're not even really worrying about the spy-movie bit anymore, Goldmember doesn't quite have the same narrative oomph of the earlier films. It's more like a Austin Powers revue, or an ice show spectacular, just a framework for comedy bits and musical numbers. Funny comedy bits, groovy musical numbers, but it's a little sad that, because there's so little story, that it feels a little less personal this time around. 

The first movie, for all its goofery, still had kind of a story about Austin trying to adjust to life in the 90s, and the second movie (even though it concentrated on Mini-Me and Fat Bastard) had a fainter angle about Austin losing his mojo. This time there's a vague "we all love our Dads" thing, but it's all done in such a walk-in sort of way, there's not too much traction.

It's hard to believe that Mini-Me and Fat Bastard only entered the Austin Powers universe in the second movie --who can imagine Austin Powers without Mini-Me? Goldmember adds three new things to the canon: Goldmember himself, Michael Caine as Austin's father Nigel Powers, and Beyonce Knowles as Foxy Cleopatra. Unfortunately, none of them really make the impact they should. Goldmember is Myers doing a sickly Dutch weirdo, more of an icky doofus with an accent than a cool new bad guy. Michael Caine tosses off a plastic wry old scoundrel number that gets mostly lost in the shuffle. And Beyonce Knowles, truly foxy, doesn't get to do anything besides sorta hang out with Austin as he strolls through the movie. And there's barely any shagging --what the hell's up with that?

Still, nobody's going into Goldmember expecting to have their Austin Powers worldview changed. They're looking for some hot chicks, peppy music, colorful outfits, and lotsa lotsa funny fart jokes. And that's what's in there, so go see it.