Austin Powers in Goldmember

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Austin Powers in Goldmember
Review (-/10)
(By Garth Franklin)

As much debate and talk as there is about the "Austin Powers" movies, the fact is each one is about the same quality as the other. When the comedy works its on fire and contains some truly great laugh-out loud gags and satire. However a lot of the gags also fall flat on their face or are simply more gross than actually funny. The characters are unique and each has their own great quirks with every time 'Dr. Evil' (a comic creation of pure genius) easily stealing the show. Supporting cast is solid across the board and whilst the plot is very lacklustre, the almost sketch like nature and sheer creative talent help carry the film to an overall good conclusion.

To me anyway, "Goldmember" isn't up there with "The Spy Who Shagged Me" but about on par with the original. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses and here its strengths are some of the best bits of the whole franchise. The opening seven minutes of the film will go down as arguably the best action/comedy sequence in cinema this year - its so good it best not to be spoiled in anyway. Other moments are just sheer great comedy from Dr. Evil's "Hard Knock Life" prison rap, a sub-titled meeting in a Tokyo office, a Godzilla in-joke, and a great scene in Goldmember's nightclub. On the flipside though gags don't work - the silhouette sequence of the second film is repeated but less cleverly, a flashback to boarding school days, and a "Star Wars"-esque plot twist towards the end falls flat. The Osbourne's cameo is just dull but its about the only celeb cameo which is.

Myers is still going strong, the 'Powers' character gets more engaging and less annoying with each effort, here he's more watchable than ever. Dr. Evil remains a great character but aside from one or two gags he's sadly not up there with his previous film apearances. Beyonce Knowles pleasantly surprises as she proves the best Powers girl yet, easily ahead of the lacklustre Heather Graham and the fun but somewhat stilted Liz Hurley. Michael Caine is fine but disappointing as Austin's father. The Goldmember character creation has strengths though a 'peeling skin condition' element isn't one of them. Seth Green who proved memorable in the last two is disappointing here, Mini-Me on the other hand is better than his previous appearance. Sterling, York and Wagner sadly don't get to do as much as last time, whilst the Fat Bastard cameo is just absolutely gross beyond words.

Production quality as always on this series remains increasingly high. The sets, music, dance sequences, direction, pace, etc. keep getting better and better. Can they overcome the patchiness of the script or humour though? That's the trouble with the 'Austin' movies and especially this one - its dificult to recommend. Will most people enjoy it? You bet. Are some of the gags so funny you have to see them for yourself? Absolutely. Are there enough of those good gags to overcome the bad ones? Hard to say. These film's are filled with a great comic energy that its a must see with a big crowd, but on its own it still has a fair share of problems. You're probably going to see it anyway and if you do, you'll be very pleased with certain parts of it.

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