Goldmember

Like sheep awaiting slaughter at the beef processing plant, some so-called “reviewers” line up in neat rows, take their presskits and advertising dollars, and spit back the pablum what was already chewed for them by the PR guys. (And if you have never tasted pre-chewed pablum, trust me, it’s unpleasant in the extreme.)

FilmJerk.com took no New Line ad revenue. And it’s not because it wasn’t offered, but rather because it wasn’t offered. This site accepted no presskit spew. Yours truly, The Facer, personally turned down a free blowjob by Robert Wagner in exchange for a positive review of the film. At least I think that’s what the deal was. In any case, the following review is a true review, a fair review, and the only review you will read of “Goldmember” that truly understood the creators’ intent.

Certainly there are some slapstick moments in the film. But a comedyr Mike Myers has the last laugh. And coming from the guy who killed all those people in the Halloween movies, that alone is quite a shock. Yes, Mike Myers has a sense of humor, but it’s far more subtle and hidden than the hacks at all those newspapers and websites think.

Above all, “Goldmember” is a film about family love. About the love of a son for a father. The love of a father for a son. The love of a son for a long-lost brother. The love of the long-lost brother for his 1/8th scale rabid clone. And the love of a kinky Dutch man with the 79th element on the periodic table. While so many of you illiterate dumpjunkeys were laughing your asses off at this film, yours truly was dabbing tears of understanding, fully immersed in the human drama unfolding.

It begins with a red herring, in typical Myers style. An action sequence, a thrilling chase, and BAM! Tom Cruise is Austin Powersr Ahh, the laughs begin. But should it be sor

No, here Myers and director Jay Roach instead pay homage to the genius of Stanley Kubrick, the once-alive director of such classics as “Clockwork Orange” and “The Shining.” By casting Tom Cruise, late of Kubrick’s last film “Eyes Wide Shut,” in an outrageously against-type cameo role, Myers et al invoke Kubrick in much the same way Steven Spielberg attempted to do with Cruise in “Minority Report.” Not convincedr Myers, knowing full well the average movie theater seat is filled with animated bags of mindless pus, hammers his point home by doing nothing less than casting Steven Spielberg himself in a short cameo. Also sprach Kubrick!

Showing genius unseen since Welles hobbled around in Touch of Evil, Myers then mines for new ore in the character of “Goldmember.” While others are scratching their heads trying to figure out how such a hapless, completely unmenacing character could be billed as the movie’s top villian, The Facer responds thusly: where does it say Goldmember is the villainr Rather, he is the film’s sad hero, the tragic victim of a world gone awry. His shortcomings are legion: a penisless, freckled, flaking freak with a penchant for eating his own skin, wearing gold lame and hopelessly, irretrievably Dutch. This, ladies and gentlemen, is Myers’ Quasimodo, his Elephant Man, his … well, whatever the kid’s name from Mask was. Tragedy personified.

Trapped in a world that hates the Netherlands, and equipped with the mental capacity of one of Joel Schumacher’s sidewalk boy-toys, Goldmember can do nothing but stumble about, reacting to the events around him, attempting to take control of his world with little success. This, my friends, is a character so sad, so in need of pathos, that anyone who dare laugh at him should be sent to Hell immediately. Why not just stab blind underage nuns while you’re at it, you heartless bastardsr!!

After tugging at our heartstrings like Harpo on … whatever that thing he played was called …, Myers continues to evoke emotion with his intricate, Alan Ball-style character development and interaction. Again, this is a film about family. Where Goldmember is tragic for lacking any family, we learn that having family can be equally tragic. In the previous Austin Powers movies, Myers had already established that Scott Evil is the son of Dr. Evil and Frau Farbissina. In Goldmember, we now learn of new familial connections, as Myers’ introduces us to Nigel Powers, Austin’s father. Nigel is the quintessential father-who-was-not-there, and in a touching musical aside Austin himself sings a stirring ballad about this unfortunate paternity (“Daddy wasn’t there, to change my underwear…”)

We learn a lot about Nigel and Austin through clever flashback to the childhoods of not only Austin, but Dr. Evil as well. We also learn many other secrets about relations and family that I will leave out of this review, so as not to spoil anything. Yes, Dr. Evil is Austin’s brother. Shit, that just slipped out. Sorry.

Then there is the tragic, Paganini-like figure of Mini-Me. This short-of-stature character is a giant of emotion in this third Powers installment, and Myers’ provides subtle symbolic cues to the spirit of the 1/8th scale man. As Mini-Me stumbles around with Austin on his shoulders, spilling pee on henchmen, Mike Myers’ sensitively illustrates how even the shortest of us can feel as if we have to support the world, like Atlas holding that giant globe thing, or Marlon Brando hauling around that fat gut of his. My God, if only we could all learn from Mini-Me! Perhaps this small creature isn’t so small after all, ehr Ehr

As if tempting his critics, Mike Myers casts Harry Knowles’ own sister, Beyonce Knowles, in the movie as the gorgeous Black spy Foxxy Cleopatra. Now many have seen this as an attempt to parody the blaxploitation films of the 1970’s. Especially since Austin (named after Harry Knowles’ home town in Texas) goes back to 1975 to hook up with Beyonce. And because he wears a pimp’s outfit. And roller skates.

But blaxplotiationr No way, Jorge. This is a subtle commentary on the state of Britain’s role in destabilizing the African continent through its aggressive colonization, and subsequent border-mapping of countries with the intent on dividing ethnic groups in order to promote conflict, providing certainty of economic subsistence and reliance on Western aid for generations to come. Hutus and Tutsis ring a bellr

I watched as Foxxy jiggled around in that little gold bra, and how Austin used her to get what he wanted (whatever that was), and was struck by Mike Myers’ grasp of the contemporary geopolitical struggle. And, shockingly, he drives home the point that HIV-AIDS is not a virus, as so many Africans are now discovering, by showing Austin and Foxy having randy, unprotected sex in an amazingly uncensored, full-frontal porn scene! Or maybe I imagined that last part. Whatever.

The sympathetic Fat Bastard, played by a nicely trimmed-down Harry Knowles, returns as well, to issue a stirring speech on the situation of obese people in our society. I sat in shock as the audience laughed while Fat Bastard farted, and proceeded to analyze — appreciatively — the odor of his internal gases. People, this was not a comedy! No, what Fat Bastard is telling us is that even inside the most grotesquely deformed, abhorrent, pestilence-ridden human being is a horrifically foul odor that defies description. And — now pay attention — that odor deserves as much love and respect as the flatulent output of, say, Christina Aguilera. Perhaps more, since it’s rumored that Christina Aguilera inserts mints in her ass to make her farts smell deceptively sweet. Fakir!

In the end, as Myers and Roach bring their subtle family thesis to a close, we learn much about what it takes to make a parent and to encase one’s genitalia in gold. These are, in the end, the things that matter. These are the things that make us human (except in Joel Schumacher’s case.) If we learn nothing from a film like Goldmember, then we have learned nothing. If, on the other hand, we come away a better person, a person who understands the role of a father and son and mother and fat bastard, then we have come away with something. And that something, my friends, is really something.

Rating: D+
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