I remember watching Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and thinking about how it lost its appeal as the story of a guy from the 60s trying to make it in the late 90s. That was the point, a culture clash. After the first, he was, well, adjusted. It just came down to jokes, and the question was, can Mike Myers carry a movie just based on his wacky characters–Dr. Evil, Fat Bastard, and of course Austin Powers? For me, the answer was yes; some people were just grossed out. Now, can he do it again, except this time recycling most of the same jokes?
Actually, in Austin Powers in Goldmember, they do just about everything they can do with the same formula short of changing it completely, and it’s pretty good, but there’s nothing really original about it. I could direct you to a review of The Spy Who Shagged Me and you’d get the gist of this movie. The two are so similar that in about a month, you will be unable to tell them apart in your head. And in about a year, when somebody mentions the third Austin Powers movie, you’ll reply, “What? They made a third? Oh yeah, that’s right.” Hell, the plots are nearly identical. They even make fun of themselves at one point for reusing the same old jokes.
Well, to the movie’s credit, there are some differences, albeit minor ones. There is The Mole (Fred Savage), who was mainly a joke rather than a character, and a joke given away completely on the commercials. Also introduced is Austin’s father, Nigel Powers, played by Michael Caine, who was given a very small role given his ability. There is Foxxy Cleopatra, played by Beyonce Knowles. I guess they decided that they overdeveloped the females in the first two, since Beyonce’s character is hardly developed at all (she’s a whole lot of woman, that’s all I can remember). Finally, there is Myer’s newest creation, Goldmember. He was just silly, in that the title of the movie is no pun or play on words. He also had a small role, however, and did not even do much as Dr. Evil’s co-conspirator.
In the end, my favorites were still Dr. Evil, Austin, and Fat Bastard. It is as if the first movie, International Man of Mystery, were the actual movie, and the next two are just compilations of some TV show based on it, with a number of funny, unrelated segments. Sure, Goldmember did make me laugh myself to tears, despite some slow parts. But then, on the whole, the movie lacked substance or even anything memorable. They came dangerously close to screwing up a good formula, and I very much hope they do not make a 4th. I do not want to see the same movie a fourth time.