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Saturday, August 2, 2008

AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER (2002)

Rife with Big Name cameos and pee-pee jokes, Mike Myers' third go-round with his ‘Mod’ alter-ego has a reasonably effective ratio of laughs to pointless mayhem. The opening reels play best with an elaborate parody of a 70s James Bond action sequence that’s revealed as Coming Attractions for an Austin Powers inspired movie starring Tom Cruise, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey & Danny De Vito. (The multiple guest appearances begin to feel like Hollywood name dropping.) This is topped by a ‘swinging’ musical number that’s half M-G-M classic and half UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG nouvelle vague. After this, it’s hit & miss with little time for the old regulars or anything resembling a story to follow. That’s part of the joke, of course, but with no narrative to lean on, the jokes have to hit or you’re in trouble fast. Michael Caine was an inspired idea to play Dad, but Myers' new character, the eponymous Goldmember, doesn’t raise a single laugh and, in hindsight, plays like a foreboding omen of Myer’s disastrous follow-up flop, THE LOVE GURU.

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