AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER
He's back, baby! It’s been three years since international man of mystery Austin Powers (Mike Myers) has faced his arch-nemesis, Dr. Evil (Mike Myers). But Dr. Evil and his accomplice Mini Me (Verne Troyer) escape from a maximum-security prison and team up with the mysterious Goldmember (Mike Myers), to go time-travelling in a bid to hold the world to ransom by remote controling a meteor that would melt the solar ice cap, flooding the world. When they kidnap Austin’s father Nigel Powers (Michael Caine), Austin returns to 1975 to join forces with his old flame Foxxy Cleopatra (Beyonce Knowles).
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
The evolution continues…. The Austin Powers franchise is no longer a simple spoof blended with endearingly old fashioned comedy, it’s a whole new ball game, as it were. In Goldmember, Mike Myers disrobes completely and succumbs to his English comedy passions, abandoning the overt spoof formula for something much broader and bawdier. Benny Hill is cackling in his grave, as gorgeous girls flaunt themselves against hideous caricatures of men who like making fart jokes, dirty jokes and silly jokes – as well as some bad jokes. Not to mention the various risque word-play gags and old silhouette routines taken a notch down taste. This is good old traditional stuff, and Myers milks his creation for every possible gag, whether used or not. The film gets away with it all through sheer audacity and pace, although it still feels about 15 minutes too long for my liking. Beyoncé Knowles is bouncy and sweet as the sidekick – her Cleopatra a clean steal from the blaxploitation flicks of the 70s, - and Michael Caine is determined to have fun as Austin’s father with a secret. The assorted characters played by Myers continue to astonish with his versatility and enthusiasm, and in the wake of Shrek, we are clued in to the origins of Shrek’s voice by bloated Fat Bastard. Apart from this trivia, the film parades several references to other works, including musical asides, and shoves the old eyeballs around with its extra large production design. From its ambitious opening stunt to rival any Bond pre-title breath-holder to its cooky finale, Austin Powers shows the Americans how to go overboard with comedy and still stay afloat.
Review by Louise Keller:
Inventive and playful, brash, crass and funny beyond the predictable, Austin Powers In Goldmember is a blast of escapism that collides joyously with the Hollywood musical. In fact Mike Myers’ creation has blossomed far beyond the expectations of Austin Powers and The Spy Who Shagged Me, with this bright, colourful explosion of wit, bad taste and clever exposé on spies, stars and songs. The story line works exceedingly well with its central theme of fatherly approval, allowing all the characters and story threads to weave together effectively. The opening sequences will make you gasp, as we meet superstars Cruise, Paltrow, Devito, Spacey, Spielberg in the guise of the Power character franchise. Cool cat Quincy Jones is there too, and when this musical maestro says ‘groovy’, there’s no denying the tone is right. But most impressively, the ideas never run dry with plenty of off-centre jokes and goofs on spoofs. From the predictable Japanese twins named Fook Mi and Fook Yu to Foxxy’s Cunning Linguist and Austin’s Master Debater, the humour is a cross between the vulgar, clever play on words and cleverer still, play on ideas. I love the sequence set in Tokyo, when the subtitles are cleverly placed on the screen to prompt a visual gag. And the outrageous scene shot in silhouette comprising Austin and Mini-Me with hands and arms poking out of the most unlikely places, is frankly so ridiculous that it should be bottled and sold as laughter medicine. This is the kind of humour that starts as a ripple and then totally envelops the audience. There is a never-ending string of musical jokes – with routines from Singin’ in the Rain, Annie and intermittent leaps of musical bizarre-ity when we hear an out of context musical phrase from Yentl or Susanna Hoffs’ rendition (over the closing credits) of Alfie with lyrics that ask ‘What’s it all about, Austin?’ as a subtle salute to Michael Caine. Needless to say, Caine as Powers Snr does a marvellous turn tossing lines like ‘The viagara stuck in my throat and I’ve had a stiff neck ever since’ with divine debauchery of spirit. Beyoncé Knowles is be-yootiful as Foxxy with the long spidery lashes, slinky, shiny, skimpy gear and the amazing hair that adapts to every situation. Look out for the scene when Foxxy removes her wetsuit (in Dr Evil’s evil underwater lair that’s ‘long, hard and full of sea-men’). It’s a hair transformation that women will take a long, hard look at and turn green to boot. Myers is better than ever – he seems to have really digested his characters, and while Fat Bastard does make an appearance, he thankfully does not have too much screen time (although he does fart in tune). The production design, costumes and whole look of the film is a notch above zany and the Union Jack has never seemed brighter. Treat yourself to a dose of the insane – Austin is back!
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AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER (M)
CAST: Mike Myers, Beyoncé Knowles, Michael Caine, Seth Green, Verne Troyer, Michael York, Robert Wagner
PRODUCER: John S. Lyons, Eric McLeod, Demi Moore, Mike Myers, Jennifer Todd, Suzanne Todd
DIRECTOR: Jay Roach
SCRIPT: Mike Myers, Michael McCullers
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Peter Deming
EDITOR: Greg Hayden, Jon Poll
MUSIC: George S. Clinton
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Rusty Smith
RUNNING TIME: 94 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: September 19, 2002
RIVERSIDE SNEAK PEEK PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 4 consecutive Tuesdays - March 10, 17, 24, 31, 2015 - at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.