Lee lets us know why Mike Myers deserves another shot.
|Sphincter says what?|
Myers’s humor is a natural one. His laughs come for his unique characters rather than relying on strictly funny antics. The likeability of Wayne Campbell can easily be attributed to his relate-ability. Linda Richards of Coffee Talk, Dieter - the host of Sprockets, and Stuart Rankin, the proprietor of "All Things Scottish" are all realistic characters, many of which were based on actual people Myers had known. While the personalities were exaggerated, they weren't over the top, and the laughs came more from the dialogue rather than actions. It’s a successful formula that helped Wayne's World become one of the top grossing films of 1992 (No Way? Way!). The film remains the top grossing SNL inspired film to date. Like Murphy, when his career took off Myers portrayed several characters in his films. Its the kind of gig most actors can only dream of. In So I Married An Axe Murder, Myers stars as Charlie Mackenzie, and his elder father Stuart Mackenzie. Stuart Mackenzie is wickedly funny, providing many hilarious one liners that still have the ability to make people laugh 23 years later. Much of the success again is attributed to Myers’s likeability. A down to earth nature that doesn't have to over exaggerate to hit the audience’s funny bone.
The Austin Powers films proved to be incredibly successful. While the first film, International Man of Mystery scored $53 million at the box office, both sequels scored over $200 million each (Yeah Baby!). Myers continued to play multiple characters in the films, which in turn gave him more opportunity to shine. The films also had a few perks named Elizabeth Hurley, Heather Graham, and Beyonce. The blending of cultures proved to be hilarious, and the films parodied the James Bond series with such gusto that production for the recent Bond films were apprehensive about incorporating any of the old school cheesy Bond humor. With parody titles The Spy Who Shagged Me, and Goldmember, Austin Powers played out every campy aspect of the Bond franchise, especially the Roger Moore era. So much so it altered the approach to the Daniel Craig reboot.
In-between films Myers impressed critics with a rare dramatic role portraying club owner Steve Rubell in the film 54. His success and demand eventually lead to a lawsuit from Universal Studios in 2000 when Myers backed out of a film based on his SNL character Dieter, the host of Sprockets. Myers wasn't happy with his script, and didn't think the character would work well as a feature film. After counter-suing the studio, the two sides eventually reach a settlement (thanks partially to mediator Stephen Spielberg) where Myers agreed to make one more picture with the studio - The Cat In The Hat. Much like Wayne's World 2, the film felt forced and lacked Myers comedic charm. The death of Chris Farley opened another successful opportunity for Myers when he inherited the voice role of Shrek. Paired with SNL alumni Eddie Murphy, Myers brought back his comedic Scottish persona to multi-generational masses. Shrek turned into a wildly successful franchise, inspiring games, television specials, and a live action musical. It is the highest grossing animated franchise of all time, and ranks 12th among highest grossing franchises (that’s higher than Star Trek, and Indiana Jones).
|Doesn't this sound groooovy, baby?!!!|
Enough time has passed. It's time for Myers to find his mojo and returned to doing what he does best. Making people laugh. Since his departure the comedic world has taken a turn for the worst. Comedy has been reduced to poor quality video clips of cats and stunt fails. Meanwhile movie goers are being forced to endure films like 50 Shades of Black and Jason Friedberg’s never-ending parody movies. Friedberg is currently working on a Taken parody called Who The F#@k Took My Daughter. Who knows, maybe this film will be funny. Yeah right, and maybe monkeys might fly out of my butt.
Rumors have been circulating about a fourth Austin Powers film, but nothing has been confirmed.
-Lee L. Lind
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