Heroes of the Zeroes is Nick Rogers’ daily, alphabetical look back at the 365 best films of 2000 to 2009.
As Thunderball was for James Bond, 2002’s Austin Powers in Goldmember was for Austin Powers — the first installment after anointment as a blockbuster franchise.
Let’s face it, as co-writer / quadruple co-star Mike Myers did here: What more could one want from a third Austin Powers movie that you didn’t get from two? With only so much Bond baiting to be done, Myers trained his soft satire on himself for something that felt somewhat self-loathing, but still funny — namely as expected blockbuster excesses and unintentional-trilogy parodies piled up.
Nothing in the remaining 91 minutes connected quite as well as the first five — a full cannon blast across the bow of the harder, better, faster, stronger notion of big-budget bloat. (Seven cameos pop up here. Six are uproarious. Sorry, Quincy Jones.)
That said, Michael Caine’s libidinous brio introduced daffy delights. Also, Goldmember (Myers’ fourth role) — a track-suited Dutch skin-eater with genitalia lost to smelting — represented a grotesquely comic laundry list of Bond villains’ physical deformities. Minor gags from Part One found rewarding payoffs and Verne Troyer got much more to do as Mini-Me, especially after donning a cravat that ran the length of his body.
Look closer, and seemingly purposeless evocations of The Godfather and Smokey and the Bandit aren’t random at all. Remember the ill-fated third installments of those franchises? Call it a stretch if you must, but Goldmember amusingly acknowledged the silly circumstance that this franchise had stretched into a fourth hour of comedy.