Tired and spastic

On the news they're calling it the hottest day of the year so far, and I still have no air conditioning at home. There's no good errand for me to run that'll keep me in a nice cool mall or store for long at all. And I've seen everything in the closest few theaters I'm interested in.

I can hike it to Boulder and catch some art flick - I am curious about some, but I'll be in the area tomorrow and figure it'll be more convenient then. And then there's the latest record-breaking blockbuster of "Austin Powers in Goldmember".


Back when the first one came out, there was a new theater opening by where I lived then, and they offered a $1/movie day of some older runs flicks before their grand opening weekend. What did I see then? That Old Feeling (with Dennis Farina and Bette Midler), the Jim Carrey vehicle Liar, Liar, then Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, and Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. That Old Feeling was better than expected - a good rental, but I'm not sure I'd buy it. Liar, Liar was largely forgettable, but sadly still among the better of Carrey's films. And for some time I remember saying that of the two mass-market young adult comedies - even though Austin Powers was getting a lot of popular buzz - Romy and Michele was the far better movie. I actually own it on DVD now, and wouldn't dream of an Austin Powers pic. Maybe that's just me, but it might give you the proper context to read this review.

The second Austin Powers went overboard with the gross-out jokes, I thought. Having worn out their backstory, they just kind of went with the material that was getting laughs, and pushed farther with the new character of Fat Bastard.

This third installment isn't much different.

The opening is clever. I'll admit a much greater interest in seeing what the film was pretending to be there. I'll leave this one up to you to discover, if you care. But it's not worth the price of admission to just see that - you'll have to be interested in an Austin Powers movie instead.

Watching this, I am reminded of what would happen if you gave a bunch of junior high kids (a fair proportion of the audience) a bunch of coke and candy. Mike Myers - his acting and his writing - are the essence of someone who cannot stand still. I might be jealous for having that amount of energy sometimes, but energy is a way of making people think they're watching something.

The thing is, sometimes we are. You can ignore the plot - it's there for getting in some standard formulaic elements. But sometimes the jokes are on, and are worth laughing at. Other times, it's easy just to be mesmerized by what's on screen. At some point though, you have to realize it's the same jokes, more or less.

The new villain is, of course, Goldmember. Not much of a villain, to tell the truth - just kind of a weird guy that certain things get attributed to, and is there at appropriate times so we wonder how Myers gets away with speaking to himself as different characters without people getting annoyed that, despite the caricatures, it's really the same voice behind them all.

To me, the best thing, aside from about five seconds at the very end, is Seth Green as Scott Evil. They keep underusing him. We are left with some hope that he would be more prominent in a 4th movie. But do we really need another one after this?

If you're the sort who has friends who repeat themselves, and you find yourself laughing at the jokes each time, this is your film. You'll see it twice, even. Heck, you really already have with the first two installments.

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Review: As if the first two weren't bad enough... star2/10 SillyconJester

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