Austin Powers in Goldmember may not signal the end of postmodernism yet the cheeky movie-within-a-movie homage that opens the film raises the question: what do you call a film that is a parody of a parody of a parody? No, it isn’t a coincidence that the all-star spoof looks a lot like Mission: Impossible, a text which in and of itself is not lacking in self-reflexivity. The worst that can be said about the third installment in the Austin Powers franchise is that Beyoncé Knowles’s Foxxy Cleopatra is every bit as soulless as the film’s ’70s New York. Additionally, Mike Myers’s newest body-creation, Goldmember, isn’t so much funny as he is perplexing (to his credit, Myers acknowledges that there is nothing inherently funny about Dutchness and lets the character’s flaking skin take it from there). Though the film amounts to little more than messy sketch comedy, it is far and away the funniest of the three Austin Powers films. Repetition is key here and Myers’s ability to take a joke to the limit is both dangerously intoxicating and, on the whole, successful. For the first time, Myers seems to acknowledge that he’s better than his material. In turn, it’s not long before plot plays sidekick to his bizarre, body-conscious stand-up. For the most part, he puts on a good show.
- Jay Roach
- Michael McCullers, Mike Myers
- Mike Myers, Beyoncé Knowles, Michael Caine, Heather Graham, Seth Green, Eddie Adams, Robert Wagner, Mindy Sterling, Verne Troyer
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