Deliver Unto Us: Austin Powers 4 – By Cameron Heffernan

None better a time then now for a fourth installment in the Austin Powers franchise.

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You would’ve expected there to be an Austin Powers 4 by now, right?

Well, there isn’t and since the first one came out 16 years ago, we’ve gotten two sequels and The Love Guru from Mike Myers. A few Wayne’s World spots here and there, not a full on “Wayne’s World 3”, but more of just promotional things in order for the general public to remember Dana Carvey still exists.

Two years ago, there were rumors that Myers was officially “signed” on to play his opus in the fourth installment – as if they would hire anyone else for the part. Jubilation rung through the hills of old Hollywood; maybe we could get a mulligan on Goldmember and go back to the ingenious parody of espionage that was, “International Man of Mystery” or the lesser but still rousing “Spy Who Shagged Me.” ‘Shagged Me’ was still a parody of the espionage genre, yet made more of an attempt to break the fourth wall and include more visual comedy with the addition of Mini-Me (Vern Troyer), a genetically engineered twin of villain Dr. Evil (also, Mike Myers), who also happens to be a dwarf.

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Obviously, we all know the story of Mini-Me and Dr. Evil, when we were young we loved these two. The times when it was funny to laugh at, not the fact that he’s a dwarf, but more at that he was a dwarf copy of a very ridiculous and obscene character in ‘Evil’. Of course you don’t realize your laughing at that when you’re an adolescent; you’re more laughing at the fact that he is a dwarf and everything he does is like a tiny adult, which is just adorable.

Then there was Goldmember. Which although still funny, couldn’t capture the original auspiciousness of the first two sequels. Goldmember starred, of course Myers, but also Beyoncé Knowles (otherwise known as Beyoncé) and Michael Cane, playing Austin’s estranged father. Cane and Myers are palpable as a father and son duo, even though one’s Canadian and the Other British. Their chemistry comes across as if they were actually a lineage of super-horny, out of touch super spies. There are funny jokes about Viagra and being English, and there’s a huge music number in the intro as always, that involves Brittney Spears, Pharrell, Steven Spielberg, Quincy Jones, and Powers basically peddling Pepsi and Spears’s recent single at the time. But, it never really captures the pioneering genius that was “International Man of Mystery”.

Which is what brings us to our second installment of “Deliver Unto Us”, an every-now-and-then column that we run which features us pining for a remake/reimagining or sequel that we’d actually want to see. Unlike, the craptastic nuggets of awfulness that have come-to-be recently (not including Evil Dead).

Normally, I’m not one for a reboot or sequel when something seems like it’s dead. Goldmember didn’t kill Austin Powers though, more of left it for dead after mercilessly holding it in a basement for years and burning it with the Mod gender symbols it came with, throughout the night. Really dark shit like that.

It wasn’t until I re-watched “Spy Who Shagged Me” that the clamoring for new ‘Powers’ began. A distant memory at that point, it reminded me of Myers’s ability to make simple slight-of-hand movements, – well placed puns,  taking a solid minute to run someone over with a steamroller while the one about to get run over stands there and screams while accepting his slow and painful fate – beyond hilarious. It was a simple movie, that didn’t require any form of “dark and gritty” to be involved. Even today, I can’t imagine them being able to incorporate the “gritty and realistic” makeover anything and everything seems to be indulged in.

Myers has to have something up his sleeve, whether it be Wayne’s World 3 or Austin Powers 4 he’s been the most quiet of all the more prominent SNL Alum recently. To me, he’s more of a legend than Adam Sandler, David Spade and Chevy Chase and they’re all getting a lot more work that they not only don’t deserve, but don’t need. Not to take anything away from Sandler’s early career, or even Chase’s work early on (Screw Spade, that dude was a coat-tail rider) but Myers had a certain flair with the characters he owned – hell at this point I’d except the Sprockets movie that never happened, but should – something those other three left behind a long time ago, when it became easier to pump out crap like Grown Ups 2.

So I ask, deliver unto us a fourth Austin Powers, if not for the sake of your checkbook Myers, but because there’s a void left in comedy with all the remakes/reboots/sequels/whim-whams/and who-hahs and no Austin Powers. it’s been 16 years since the first one and 11 since Goldmember. These movies grossed a total over $600 million on a budget of $112.5 million, worldwide. You’re telling me, in what seems like an age in which anyone will clamor to see any form of ’90s nostalgia, that they wouldn’t do the same for a new Austin Powers? I’m saying they would, I sure as hell plan to.

Soon, we will have Austin Powers 4, it’s only a matter of time – it even has an IMDB page, as does everything – but the fact that it’s taken this long is for loss of a better pun, not that groovy baby.

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