After spending many years trying to locate James Bond for an interview, I finally caught up with him at a screening of Austin Powers in Goldmember. Imagine my surprise when 007 agreed to discuss his reactions concerning that other popular international man of mystery. Our conversation went something like this . . .
Me: Omigosh. Is it really you, Bond? James Bond, I mean?
Bond: Yes, indeed. I came to check out my competition.
Me: Excellent idea, 007. I understand Mike Myers modeled his Austin Powers character after you. Don’t you feel flattered?
Bond: Not at all. Austin Powers gives everyone in our profession a bad name. Besides being too flashy, he loves to sing and dance in big musical numbers. That’s not cricket, you know.
Me: But he’s quite good in those numbers, don’t you think? I especially enjoyed the West Side Story homage in one particular routine.
Bond: I certainly have to agree with you there. Britney Spears, your American pop idol, is gorgeous in that sequence. I could accept her as a Bond girl in any of my films.
Me: Austin Powers seems to surround himself with beautiful women. Isn’t that a bit like you?
Bond: Perhaps. However, my ladies always have more appropriate names. "Foxy Cleopatra" just doesn’t do anything for me.
Me: What about all those high-tech gadgets? Aren’t you jealous of the way Austin Powers gets to travel back and forth in time?
Bond: Not in this movie. His "pimp-mobile" time machine lacks class. I wouldn’t be caught dead in it. Please forgive me. That sounded like a shameless plug for my upcoming film, Die Another Day.
Me: No problem, James. And I see what you mean about sophistication and Austin Powers not mixing well. Is that your major criticism?
Bond: Yes. With each Austin Powers movie, the crudeness level reaches new lows. This latest one dwells so much on "potty" humor, it reminded me of my adolescent years in a British boarding school.
Me: Still, these films are meant to be comedies. Surely you laughed at some of the scenes.
Bond: Only once -- when Michael Caine, playing Austin’s father, said, "There are two kinds of people I can’t stand. The first are those who show intolerance for other people’s culture; the second are the Dutch."
Me: I laughed at that line, too, even though it’s a variation of a very old joke. Were you offended by the similarity of "Goldmember," the villain here, to your Goldfinger antagonist?
Bond: Not so much offended as disgusted. He should be called "Crudemember," not "Goldmember." Losing an important part of one’s body in a smelting accident is no excuse for bad taste.
After mulling over Mr. Bond’s comments, I realize he and I share similar opinions about Austin Powers in Goldmember. Despite some spirited musical numbers, a few funny cameos by megastars like Tom Cruise, and Mike Myers’ uncanny ability to portray so many characters, this third Austin Powers adventure deserves to be his last.
(Released by New Line Cinema and rated "PG-13" for sexual innuendo, crude humor and language.)