Mike Myers Signs on for Austin Powers 4, World Wonders If It Might Actually Be Funny Again
We’ll start off with the news, which we’ll refrain from characterizing as either good or bad: Mike Myers — after a string of live-action flops, voiceover successes, and wildly unexpected/awesome cameos in Quentin Tarantino movies — has signed on to do a fourth Austin Powers movie. If all you could do was groan upon hearing this news, we don’t blame you. But consider this: it’s been a long time since Austin wore out his welcome in 2002. And Myers, with that Tarantino cameo, has been slowly and cautiously easing his way back into the hearts and minds of the audience that made him a blockbuster-turned-overexposed star. So, maybe — just maybe — this isn’t the worst idea Hollywood has ever had? Is it possible for Austin Powers and all of his played-out catchphrases to be funny again?
If we’re being honest, the first Austin Powers movie, which was released waaaaaaay back in 1997, was really, really good. At that time, it was not as self-aware, and not that big of a commercial success. In fact, it became downright culty once it was on video. So much so that everyone felt like it was ripe for a sequel. The first sequel was fun, but it had turned into that guy who told one funny joke at a party then repeated it for every single other person at the party until it had completely lost its spontaneity. It also depended less on what made it funny in the first place and more on fla$hy ca$ting and cameo$. To say nothing of the relentless marketing. By the time the third movie rolled around, it was completely inescapable, and while it made a really big chunk of money, people were pretty damn sick of all the idiots walking around going “Yeah, baby,” and “Do I make you horny?”
But now, people have (kind of) started doing that ironically. It’s almost as if Austin is having a tiny retro renaissance. A retrossance, if you will. And he’s sort of become what he was in the first movie: a guy from another time, finding his mojo in a new world.
I don’t know, but I’m not quite sure if I’m ready to write this off completely. I got just as sick of Austin Powers as everyone else did. But if something new can be brought to this character and there’s less focus on product placement, saturation marketing, and getting big names attached (which just distracted from Austin, who could have stayed funny if more attention was paid to him), then maybe another sequel will be worthwhile.
In fact, it should spoof itself. If it does get big names, then they all have to die. Quickly. Like, 30 seconds or less of screen time each. That would be hilarious. A really good Doctor Who reference wouldn’t hurt either. (Come on — how Britishly perfect would that be right now?)