By Missy Schwartz
December 06, 2002 at 05:00 AM EST
Austin Powers: Melinda Sue Gordon

Back in 1997, when Mike Myers first donned his shagadelic blue velour suit, Austin Powers was a hoot: a hairy, snaggletoothed 007 parody whose absurd horniness was a welcome anachronism within an overly serious, post-swingin’ society. But two sequels later, our International Man of Mystery is low on mojo.

It’s not that Austin is any less goofily likable in Austin Powers in Goldmember. The sight of him strutting around big-pimpin’-style as he time-travels back to the ’70s produces a decent chuckle. And secret-agent additions Michael Caine and Beyoncé Knowles bring plenty of pop to the picture as dad Nigel Powers and jive-talkin’ Foxxy Cleopatra. The problem is that the whole enterprise — from Fat Bastard’s intestinal antics to every ”Yeah, baby” and wicked ”mmmwahahaha” — is just tired. That Myers winkingly acknowledges this (in one of many celeb cameos, Ozzy gripes about the naughty boob joke repeated from previous Powers flicks) doesn’t ease the sense of staleness. Nor does the arrival of new bad guy Goldmember (Myers, natch), an overly tanned Dutchman who eats his own flaking skin. If Myers plans on whipping out the groovy suit for ”Austin 4,” he should consider new material. Something in crushed velvet, perhaps?

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