Upon learning that his father has been kidnapped, Austin Powers must travel to 1975 and defeat the aptly named villain Goldmember – who is working with Dr. Evil. (IMDb)
There are moments that reflect the energetic creativity of the first two films (see the meta-opening credits, subtitle mix-up at the office, “boobs” naming gag) and the Mini-Me+Austin slapstick scene was pretty funny, but besides that it’s pretty much all distasteful potty humour (see especially Fat Bastard after sumo-wrestling), overly sexual and laced with homophobia and misogyny. In this mostly humourless context, the brief yet somehow still incoherent story is beyond aggravating.
Derek and Hansel are lured into modeling again, in Rome, where they find themselves the target of a sinister conspiracy. (IMDb)
A convoluted and lazily written plot (see the terrible climax that renders pretty much everything previous irrelevant) is jammed onto a non-stop ride of ridiculousness that more often than not doesn’t generate laughs (the sexual innuendos are lame; Armisen’s head unnerving; the celebrity cameos mostly tiresome, straight-faced and dramatic Sutherland aside-“minus one”) but earns points for Wiig’s hilariously accented Alexanya and just for the sheer amount of insanity thrown out there by the end.
A pragmatic U.S. Marine observes the dehumanizing effects the Vietnam War has on his fellow recruits from their brutal boot camp training to the bloody street fighting in Hue. (IMDb)
Hartman’s over-the-top rants and boot camp chants are paired perfectly with the repetitive settings and symmetrical cinematography to make a cohesive and compelling first half, brought to a head by Pyle’s brilliant transformation from sympathetic to sinister (see the chilling bathroom scene). The second half falters from a lack of focus, but still retains interest thanks to a unique soundtrack, riveting long takes, and provoking commentary on war (sometimes literally–see the interview segment).
After refusing to attack an enemy position, a general accuses the soldiers of cowardice and their commanding officer must defend them. (IMDb)
A solid, if unspectacular war piece, well-acted (Douglas especially) and efficiently told: What seems at first like it will be an underdog battle epic takes a sinister turn with the general’s first long walk through the trenches and only gets more horrifying from there: Unjust political structures of the army are uncovered in two strikingly contrasting settings through chilling conversations on both ends of the hierarchy that climax with a gut-punch ending and a thought-provoking epilogue.
7.5/10 (Really Good)
Crooks plan and execute a daring race-track robbery. (IMDb)
Moody lighting, artfully composed shots, and solid acting nicely set up the main players (George and Sherry have a great dynamic throughout) and the game to follow-a heist which isn’t terribly thrilling in itself, and has a few holes (see Johnny going in the no-access door and punching a cop in full sight of bystanders), but is made interesting nonetheless by an intriguing non-linear narrative (though the narration gets a little cheesy) and an ending first dramatic and then wryly comedic.
Manny, Diego, and Sid join up with Buck to fend off a meteor strike that would destroy the world. (IMDb)
Manny, Diego, and Sid still don’t have that hilarious chemistry they once had (though Sid still gets a few moments to shine-see the failed proposal; wedding planning) but there’s plenty of comedic energy found elsewhere, with Granny and Buck as colourful as always (“I’m out of cake, but I got salami!”; see Buck’s mind-trip) and Scrat’s escapades still fresh and fun. Neither the new villains or the out-of-this-world plot take themselves too seriously, which help keep the film entertaining.
Manny, Diego, and Sid embark upon another adventure after their continent is set adrift. Using an iceberg as a ship, they encounter sea creatures and battle pirates as they explore a new world. (IMDb)
The protective dad and wants-to-be-popular teen daughter drama couldn’t be more bland, so the film does well to focus more on the high-seas adventure plot, which is predictable and simple but full of rambunctious action (see the ship hijacking), engaging secondary characters (Dinklage’s captain is truly frightening; Sykes’ senile granny hilarious), and wholly entertaining tangents (see the brilliant pirate shanty; Scrat’s ever-escalating adventures to the core of the earth and Scratlantis).