Digging for Gold
Powers in Goldmember
Jay Roach, USA, 2002
Posted: July 28,
1997's Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery seemed the
classic one-trick pony. Perform its fish-out-of-water-cum-send-up of
British spy movies routine and exit, er, somewhat gracefully. And the
titular hero, bad teeth and all, appeared to be well on his way to doing
just that, until the video rental sales figures came in and the studio
realized it had a long distance, rather than short-legged, thoroughbred on
its hands. Hence the first sequel, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
(1999), which stuck closely to the original's time travel concept,
frenetically cutting between the swinging, analog '60s and the ironic,
The franchise's third entry, Austin Powers in Goldmember, makes
the logical jump to the disco-era '70s (complete with an exclusive club
named Studio 69). All of the principals from the first two films return,
with the role of revolving door Powers' female sidekick going to the
energetic Beyoncé Knowles as the aptly-named CIA agent Foxxy Cleopatra. Dr.
Evil (Mike Myers) has brought a gold-loving Dutchman from 1975 into the
present day. Goldmember (also Mike Myers), whose name tells you all you'd
want to know about his smelting-accident-modified nether regions, has plans
for a giant tractor beam that will guide an asteroid into the polar ice
caps, thus covering the entire planet in water. (One fun gag about the
Powers' films is that there's never any rhyme or reason for Evil's global
threats, save money, which the multi-billionaire clearly doesn't need.)
In a role that could have been exploited far better than it is, Michael
Caine appears in what amounts to nothing more than an extended cameo as
Austin's father, the legendary original Man of Mystery, Nigel Powers. Fred
Savage is also thrown into the mix as a mole planted inside Dr. Evil's
organization who (you guessed it) sports a huge mole on his face. Indeed,
the majority of the laughs are generated from this one sight gag. A prison
rap takeoff of Jay-Z's "Hard Knock Life" by an incarcerated Dr. Evil and
Mini-Me (Verne Troyer) proves the film's other inspired moment.
Shocking revelations are made at the end and, planning ahead, the good
versus evil roles are set in motion for the inevitable sequels to follow.
But after three films, there's not much more the indefatigable role-hopping
Myers and director Jay Roach can wring out of the current formula. Assuming
the duo does indeed harbor designs on pushing the wildly popular franchise
to its absolute, excessive limits, we here at Shaking Through (courtesy of
Laurence Station & Kevin F. Moreau) selflessly offer some possible ideas to
help move the series beyond the past four decades.
Austin Powers in the Court of Henry the Ate
Myers' corpulent Fat Bastard discovers that he's a direct descendant of Henry
VIII (let's just say a certain chambermaid did more than empty the
king's bedpans), prompting Dr. Evil to travel back in time, enlisting Bastard's
aid in a scheme to alter the course of history and install hapless Scott Evil as
ruler of the British Empire. Powers, in a jester's outfit, must rescue his
comely sidekick, Dr. Helena Heaving-Bosom (Nicole Kidman), from the guillotine
after she becomes Henry's unlucky wife #7.
Austin Powers: Third Reich's the Charm
Austin versus the Nazis! Evil covets the Spear of Destiny, a phallus-shaped
mystical artifact last known to be in the possession of Adolf Hitler. Traveling
back to the Second World War to get the Spear, Evil forges an alliance with
Hitler (Myers, naturally), lending his technological know-how to the Fuhrer's
love of the Dark Arts. Evil's trusty henchwoman Frau Farbissina (Mindy Sterling)
meets her past self, to whom she's oddly attracted. Powers must join forces with
globe-trotting, bullwhip cracking archaeologist Missouri Connie Lundquist
Austin Powers: Cro-Magnon Force
The dentally-distressed super-spy teams with snarling "Flirty" Larry Magnon (Rutger
Hauer), a conflicted homosexual rogue cop who plays by his own rules. The pair
uncovers a scheme by which Dr. Evil plans to unleash dinosaurs on the Earth, and
the unlikely partners are forced to pop back to the Stone Age, where they
introduce two clan leaders (Cheech & Chong) to the wonders of fire (and using
said fire to light a certain plentiful herb). Along the way, Powers and his
earliest ancestor, troubleshooting Rock Hardplace (Myers), enlist the expertise
of noted paleontologist Cassandra Lovebones (Laura Dern).
Austin Powers in The Hunt for Miss Redd Oktober
The titular Russian terrorist and former Soviet beauty queen (Rosanna Arquette)
has commandeered a nuclear submarine, and Powers must stop her from delivering
it into the hands of Dr. Evil. But the reactor explodes at a key moment,
catapulting the adversaries to the High Seas of the 18th century, where Austin and
a curvy pirate named Fellatio Hornblower (Catherine Zeta-Jones) race to keep the
sub out of the hands of Dr. Evil and his own sub-commanding ally, the Greek
scientist and explorer Captain Nero (Myers, again).
Austin Powers in Mooncaper
Galactic warlord Sting the Pitiless (Sting, hamming it up in an eyepatch and
goatee) rules the floating planet X, which moves into orbit around the Earth.
Sting aims a giant laser at the moon, threatening to blow it into bits and thus
create much havoc on Earth unless he is acknowledged as ruler. Thus, Powers and
Evil are forced into an uneasy alliance, traveling to the far future with sexy
astronaut Flesh Morgan (a pouty Sarah Jessica Parker) to acquire the
technological goods necessary to defeat Planet X. Unfortunately, that technology
rests in the greedy and self-serving hands of megalomaniac General Evil (Myers),
scheming from his exile on Mars to ally with the Martians (straight out of H.G.
Wells) to overtake the Solar Hegemony of Allied Globes (S.H.A.G.). The two Evils
band together against Powers, who must seek out his own descendent, hot-shot
fighter pilot Buck Powers (Myers). Buck's sexy android companion, Tamara T.
O'Day (Tiffani Thiessen), creates a love triangle between Austin and Flesh, but
the threesome must put aside their differences when Buck is kidnapped by General
Evil's henchwoman Solar Plexus (Jennifer Aniston).
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