Reviews

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Bawdy Blockbuster

What critics are saying about Austin Powers, Country Bears, Signs, Lovely and Amazing, Tadpole, The Kid Stays in the Picture, and more reviews of K-19: The Widowmaker and Sunshine State

Austin Powers inGoldmember, the movie that this week set the all-time opening weekend box office record for a comedy, is being maligned by Christian media critics as crass, disgusting, and even "abhorrent."

Despite these complaints, Saturday Night Live veteran Mike Myers has beat the box office again with this "three-quel." The Powers franchise lampoons James Bond and spoofs the quirks and clichés of '60s and '70s film and television favorites. Once again, Myers himself plays multiple roles—the womanizing free-styling title character, his bald and quirky nemesis Dr. Evil, and a few other particularly dislikable freaks. This time, his sidekick is Foxy Cleopatra (pop star Beyonce Knowles), herself a spoof of '70s 'blacksploitation' heroes. Powers's father also appears, played by Michael Caine. No one dares deny Myers's talents or the talented crew and cast that bring this lunacy to life. But critics remain chagrined at Myers' reliance on the vulgar and profane.

A critic at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops writes, "The story itself is haphazardly constructed, somehow muddling through to the end—leaving logic and engaging storytelling on the sidelines. And the sexual innuendo is in full force as it was with the first two. The cast delivers pretty much what one would expect, but director Roach could have done more with the all-too-willing Caine."

Phil Boatwright (Movie Reporter) writes, "Myers is a very intelligent man and certainly knows comedy, but the Austin Powers franchise … often has less plot than a Saturday Night Live sketch. [Myers] equates toilet humor with sophisticated comedy. Whatever brings a laugh is his objective. Trouble is, the scatological jokes that make up most of the film's humor are the cheapest form ...

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Posted:
June
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