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IN SHORT: Second verse same as the first. Wait, that's not right. What rhymes with "third"? [Rated PG-13 for sexual innuendo, crude humor and language. 94 minutes]
Think of something else that rhymes with "third". Austin Powers, the movies, are more obsessed with the other side of the body. So, except for the fact that Mike Myers and co-writer Michael McCullers unleash the most brilliant joke of the series (it's about a baby and it comes about three-quarters of the way through the film) we can safely say that there isn't a single dump chute joke in Austin Powers in Goldmember. There are close to a dozen dump chute jokes, all of which are evenly matched by gags involving various functions of the penis. And we haven't gotten to the dickjokes. Yet.
Normally, we would begin with the usual disclaimer: "Cranky makes no comparison to the Source Material," but if you walk in to see Austin Powers in Goldmember without any knowledge of what you were getting into, you won't last five minutes. Our personal history with the series is a sad one. Austin Powers bored us nearly to death. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me was an improvment, 'cuz we knew the joke going in. We only spent half the flick not nearly as bored to death as we were in the first one. Part Three managed to amuse for about half an hour, until we were dickjoke'd out which puts it somewhere in the middle of this, and any other trilogy to come.
Mike Myers' creation continues to rip off old Connery Bond movies with panache and now, with Number 3 ... well, he couldn't call The Spy Who Shagged Me "number two" because that would be rude, baby, about all that's left to strip out of Connery's legacy is that bit with those hungry sharks. Done. OK, then it's on to strip mining the two Austin Powers movies that have come before Austin Powers in Goldmember. Add to that three dickjokes a minute and you've got a movie that stomps its jokse into the ground. The repetition is numbing. It happens a lot. As in more than once. A number of times. Numerous occurrences. Muy times. A lot. To excess. Ad nauseum. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera," which is what we said about the last episode and wished we had said about the first episode.
The best part of the movie is the first thing you see; a subset of the Austin Powers experience called Austinpussy. This, the first five minutes of Austin Powers in Goldmember is -- all by itself -- almost worth the perfect ten rating. Austinpussy is so filled with superstar cameos that New Line has asked us not to revel (and they're buying dinner at the San Diego Comic-Con to insure our silence, so we won't. Well, now they are <vbg>). Then we get down to serious dickjoking, a couple of origin stories, and more dickjokes.
From the start of the movie, as Austin Powers (Mike Myers) is about to become elevated to Knighthood, it is obvious that there is a problem in Powers' personal relationships with his dad, esteemed special agent Nigel Powers (Michael Caine). We'll discover similar family prolems on the other side of the good and evil coin, where major family issues force a major rift between Dr Evil's clone Mini Me (Verne J Troyer) and Dr. Evil's biological son, Scott Evil (Seth Green). Mini Me's best scene is spilled in a teevee spot but what happens to Scott Evil is either a dig at Ron Howard (not in the movie) or a blatant set-up for AP4, which Myers has said he isn't going to make. Right. The rest of the supporting cast (Robert Wagner and Mindy Sterling) make their appearances, look the other way when the dickjokes come flying, and then we go forward, into the past.
No, not yet. Scraping the lowest levels of bad taste is a new creation, The Mole (Fred Savage), which gives you a couple of dickjoke free minutes that give you time to breathe. Now, into the past...
The supervillain who sends Nigel Powers back in time isn't Dr. Evil (Mike Myers). No, it's newbie evil megalomaniac Goldmember (Mike Myers), who gets his kicks by goldleafing the private parts of sailors he meets on the docks (in a most painful manner not conceptionally distanced from the laser beam between the legs in a certain Connery Bondflick). To save Dad, Austin takes his own time travelling pimpmobile back to 1975 where supersexy secret agent, (and ex AP one nighter) Foxxy Cleopatra (Beyoncé Knowles) waits to tear the roof off his sucka. Foxxy also demonstrates a psychic ability to control any desperately horny middle aged gay guy in her vicinity (in this case Nathan Lane --- he's in a commercial. No exemption here). That control is total, and that means Austin has one helluva good reason to get the hell back to 2002. Foxxy goes along for the ride.
Beyond that, if you havent boned up on the first two movies, you won't know what the hell is going on. There are enough surprise cameos and legitimate (ie, not dickjokes) gags -- including one dangerously close to a famous dickjoke in Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles -- that we got at least a solid half hour of entertainment out of the thing. Sorry folks. We ceased to be fifteen several lifetimes ago. Three dickjokes a minute gets tired real fast.
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Austin Powers in Goldmember, and excepting the first five minutes, he would have paid . . .
If you don't mind the dickjokes there's enough fun here that you should take a date. Ours didn't particularly care for the dickjokes either, and she's half our age.
Oh, baybe yourself, kidlets...
The only thing that could logically come next, now that Connery's canon is exhausted, would have to be called Moore Austin Powers. We wouldn't wish that on the world.
ADDENDUM: Gee, with two days to go until opening, Myers is saying that maybe he would do another Austin Powers movie. Gee, who woulda thunk it . . .
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