ninth symphony films - movie reviews


DIRECTOR  -  jay roach

RATED  -  pg-13

GENRE  -  comedy

LENGTH  -  94 minutes

RELEASED  -  26 july 2002

DISTRIBUTOR  -  new line cinema

OFFICIAL SITE  -  goldmember

ESTIMATED BUDGET  -  $63,000,000
austin powers in goldmember - a shot from the film


buy the dvd from austin powers in goldmembers at

buy the dvd from austin powers in goldmember at

austin continues the fight of good vs. evil against dr. evil and fat bastard while falling in love with the beautiful foxy cleopatra and making a new enemy: goldmember.

the title for this film was in dispute for several months during a spat between mgm, the owner of the james bond franchise, and new line, the producer of the austin powers series.


picture from austin powers in goldmember

picture from austin powers in goldmember

picture from austin powers in goldmember


two out of four possible stars

Austin Powers in Goldmember is the kind of movie with a lot more gloss than the original film, and many more penis and fart jokes than its predecessors. Though it is to be expected that some of the jokes in this sequel would be repeated from the last films, it's hard to understand why some were repeated more than once in the same film. If each of the jokes in Goldmember were put on the screen once, this film would last about fifteen minutes. A few of the jokes were quite entertaining, at it was fine to see them more than once, but this film actually loses steam about half-way through. Somewhere around when the plot drops out of the picture.

Many of the filmmakers, including the director and Mike Myers, have said that this movie's sole purpose is to make people laugh in the theater. And on most fronts, the film succeeds. But there comes a point where the movie actually begins to drag somewhat, even though it runs just a hair over an hour and a half. While all the characters in this film are entertaining, without the tiniest effort placed into the plot of the film, the jokes just can't fill up the void of a twenty foot screen. The first Austin Powers movie was a stitch all the way through simply because the material was completely new. And the second film, though not as impressive as the first, was able to keep the jokes fresh and made a good amount of effort in keeping the plot moving the film along.

But Goldmember has many places where the film stops quite dead in its tracks, and some sort of scene occurs which has nothing to do with the plot or what the characters have to accomplish. A very clear example of this is when Austin sneaks onto Dr. Evil's underwater boat. As he's walking down a hallway, a doctor on the boat opens one of the doors and says to Austin, "Hey! No one can come on this ship without a proper physical!" And so, inevitably, Austin must go into the doctor's office and perform all sorts of "funny" jokes that include such props as a urine cup and a sheer screen. This scene is a few minutes long, and there's no reason for it to be in the movie, other than because it gives Austin another chance to put some penis and fart jokes on the screen.

If these jokes had been woven more adeptly into the plot, they wouldn't has looked so out of place. In the second film, there was a very similar penis-and-fart-joke scene where Austin Powers and "Felicity Shagwell," played by Heather Graham were inside a tent through whose walls made the same sort of pantomime show. Though that scene was a stretch, at least there was a point to it; that scene related directly to what was happening in the plot. But Goldmember doesn't take the time to make the plot matter, and so the jokes are the only thing to look at. And the jokes run quite thin.

An element that worked better, in the long run, was how many cameos there were in the film. This version of the Austin Powers saga could almost have the words, "Bigger, Longer, and More Expensive," following it, because of the star power in so many small roles. Tom Cruise, Danny DeVito, Gwyneth Paltrow, Quincy Jones, Ozzy Osbourne and his brood, Kevin Spacey, Britney Spears, John Travolta, Burt Bacharach, and even Steven Spielberg have cameos in this film. The time spent on these cameos is a welcome break from Mike Myers's vast array of characters. Although he excels at performing in the guise of Fat Bastard, Austin Powers, and Dr. Evil, the character of Goldmember is not one of his more creative performances.

While dressed as Goldmember, the jokes he performs don't elicit the same degree of laughter as Myers's other characters. And while it may be naive to suggest that this film could have been successful without the number of fart jokes, the title of the film does suggest this, the filmmakers still should have been more aware of how no film can survive without some degree of coherent plot. Or scenes that move the plot forward. No matter how fresh the jokes, or incredibly funny they might have been, stalling the film for the sake of a few laughs makes this film seem longer than its ninety minutes.

Lastly, it might be prudent to mention that the supporting cast in this film was definitely an asset for the production. Michael Caine plays Austin's father to the hilt and pulls out all the stops to create a character whose legendary history of womanizing has influenced Austin to become the most shagadellic spy in England. Caine is quite hilarious in his small role. And Beyoncé Knowles brings a lot of humor to the picture as well, in her role as "Foxy Cleopatra," Austin's latest love interest. The cast regulars of the series, including Michael York, Seth Green, Robert Wagner, Mindy Sterling, and Verne Troyer all bring the same hilarity to their roles that made the first two films successful.

As an hour and a half long fart joke, Austin Powers in Goldmember takes crude humor to new heights. Members of the audience who are able to look beyond the disparity between plot and humor will enjoy the performances in this film. The cast has a lot of talent and they pull off the world of Austin Powers well. It may be folly in any case to try and find some intelligence in this film, so keeping an open mind when viewing the feature is recommended.

Review by Kelsey Wyatt.

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