It should come as no surprise that Mike Myers' schtick for the third installment of the slapdash Austin Powers series has worn very, very thin. What's surprising is that Myers is determined to use said schtick to upstage his capable supporting cast, including the inspired Seth Green, an eager Michael Caine, and even Myers himself, playing the little-seen latest addition to his freak stable: Goldmember. Jay Roach may still snag a directorial stamp on Goldmember, but Myers' stifling influence can be felt in every frame: Punch lines are repeated ad infinitum in the hopes that they'll take on a sort of absurd brilliance (they don't); major comic set pieces are poorly timed and badly shot (and not always for effect); and new characters disappear for large stretches of the film to make way for the continued antics of Dr. Evil, Fat Bastard, and Austin Powers (who seems more irrelevant with each passing sequel). Destiny's Child singer-turned-actress Beyonce Knowles fares well in her screen debut, but one suspects that it's her agent who deserves most of the credit, for snagging her a plum role in a film that uses performance deficiencies to an advantage (unlike, say, Mariah Carey in 2001's self-indulgent pop star debacle Glitter). Myers' more-is-more aesthetic is always bound to yield some laughs, but the best ones in Goldmember come when he's paired opposite Caine, Green, or the wealth of A-list stars who show up in cameos. Unfortunately for the audience, Myers is usually sharing screen space with his favorite performer: himself.
by Michael Hastings review