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'Goldmember' tired amusement

Toilet humor and Daddy issues


By Paul Clinton

(CNN) -- Hey, baby, he's back -- and "Austin Powers In Goldmember" is a mess. However, it is a mildly amusing mess, even though the premise -- and the shagadelic '60s and '70s -- are getting a wee bit long in the tooth.

Mike Myers and company have once again mined the deepest trenches of the penis joke genre, and even die-hard fans must be feeling the wear and tear of finding humor down there. But there are just enough new gags and new characters -- such as the huge-haired detective Foxxy Cleopatra (a sendup of blaxploitation films from the '70s), played by Beyonce Knowles of the singing group Destiny's Child -- to keep things percolating during the film's hyper-paced 94-minute running time.

Many of the usual suspects are back. Leading the pack of returning characters is Mini-Me, once again beautifully played by Verne Troyer. Robert Wagner as Number Two, Seth Green as Scott Evil, Michael York as Basil Exposition, and Mindy Sterling as Frau Farbissina all reprise their roles. Wagner however, is completely underutilized and could have sat this one out.

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This time around the plot (such as it is) centers around Daddy issues. That's right, Daddy issues. Austin gets no respect from his daddy, the flamboyant secret agent Nigel Powers, played to perfection by Michael Caine, and Dr. Evil pampers his cloned son (and smaller self), Mini-Me, while his real son, Scott, is more or less ignored. The whole "who's your daddy" issue comes to a surprising conclusion in the film's finale.

Business as usual

Along the way to that conclusion, it's business as usual in the wacky world of Austin Powers. There are plenty of inside jokes referring to the two previous "Powers" films, numerous spoofs of other films such as "Singin' In The Rain," and tons of bad dental work.

Of course, the casting of Caine as a superspy brings along lots of nostalgic baggage of its own -- recalling his "Harry Palmer" spy movies, as well as his classic '60s film, "Alfie." Plus the sight of Caine with the Austin family's bad teeth is worth the price of admission -- almost.

Once again directed by Jay Roach and co-written by Myers and Michael McCullers, this third installment is beginning to feel a little repetitive (as if the second one wasn't?).

Myers reprises his multiple roles in
Myers reprises his multiple roles in "Goldmember" and takes on yet another persona.  

As always, Myers takes on numerous roles: Powers, Dr. Evil, Fat Bastard, and the newest addition to his repertoire, the title character Goldmember. Featuring a golden complexion, wispy hair and a padded crotch that defies gravity, Goldmember is a double-jointed Dutchman whose lust for gold is matched only by his gross ability to put his legs behind his head -- thereby displaying the aforementioned crotch in all its glory.

So there you go: penis jokes, flatulence, excrement and urination continue to rule in the land of "Austin Powers." Where else would you find a weapon designed to destroy the world being called "Preparation H?"

It's amusing, but you may find that you're over it. Still, will there be an "Austin Powers IV"? Probably.

"Austin Powers In Goldmember" opens nationwide on Friday, July 26 and is rated PG-13 with a running time of 94 minutes.


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