Starring: Mike Myers, Beyoncé Knowles, Michael Caine
Director: Jay Roach
Running Time: 94 mins
Austin Powers in Goldmember is an American film and the third in the Austin Powers series. After his father is kidnapped by the criminal Goldmember, Austin is forced to travel back to 1975, only to return to the present day to do battle with his arch nemesis, Dr. Evil, once again.
It’s always a disappointing sight to see one of your favourite film series take a dive in a sequel, and that’s unfortunately the case with Austin Powers In Goldmember. The first two Austin Powers films are two of the most enjoyable comedies I’ve ever seen, but this third edition really fails to hit the same beats as well as its predecessors, and although there are flickers of the series’ classic wit, it makes for an ultimately messy and unfunny watch.
But let’s start with some of the positives. Although an almost all-round disappointment in comparison to its predecessors, Goldmember does at least feature a range of strong performances. Mike Myers is just as good as always as Austin Powers (albeit a little less so as Dr. Evil, and not so great as Goldmember and Fat Bastard), whilst his co-stars, from the likes of Beyoncé to Michael Caine, all put in as charismatic and entertaining performances as possible, which really helps to get a few more laughs out of you.
Also, the film’s action may even be a step-up from before. Although not as riveting to watch in the context of the story, director Jay Roach and the higher budget ($63m!) allows for a lot more dynamic and explosive action sequences, which was fun to see, even if they didn’t have a chance to work out within the story.
However, it is a shame to see that the rest of Goldmember just doesn’t work in the same way the previous films did. The addition of new, zanier characters propels the film beyond simple Bond parody to sheer idiocy, losing the satirical charm that made the first two so good, whilst the excessive use of fourth-wall breaks and the same jokes from before do get tiring.
Of course, it’s always tough to get a comedy right again, let alone three times, but when a film is using so many of the same gags as the series’ best moments, as well as featuring the cardinal sin of countless celebrity cameos, you know that it’s run out of ideas and humour.
Simply put, Austin Powers In Goldmember is still a watchable film, thanks to strong performances, fun action and a few good laughs, but my main feeling after watching it is disappointment, given the previous films’ brilliance, and its own failure to both match them and to avoid scraping the bottom of the barrel for laughs, so that’s why I’m giving it a 6.6.