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AUSTIN POWERS 4: No, Baby! [Wow! It’s Wednesday!]

I know that movie studios want my money, and most often I’m perfectly happy to give it to them, especially during the summer when it’s really hot. I also know that I am at a magical age now, a special twenty-year cross-section of age, during which I will be spending money on entertainment for both my child and myself.

Because of this studios have been on an unprecedented campaign to not only separate my age group from its money, but also set up my children to eventually be separated from their money though the device of nostalgia. One day my daughter will scream at us, “I learned to overpay for crap remakes of YO GABBA GABBA and NI HAO, KAILIN from watching you, Mom and Dad. I learned it from watching you!”

This current incarnation of nostalgia branding has meant the green-lighting of movie versions of all my childhood favorites from the 80s like TRANSFORMERS (which I paid money to see), and ALVIN & THE CHIPMUNKS (which I paid money to see), and THUNDERCATS (which I will be paying money to see), and AUSTIN POWERS 4 — wait, wait, wait … did they say AUSTIN POWERS 4. Oh, yes, they did!

Apparently, movie studios have run out of 80s movies and TV shows to re-exploit, and have now started to mine the 90s. If Mickey Rourke could be resuscitated for an aughts comeback, why not do the same with Mike Meyers?

I’ll tell you why not in two parts:

1) It’s too soon. It’s easy to pass along a love of singing chipmunks to my daughter, or to appreciate the special effects in THE TRANSFORMERS with my nephews, but what are we going to do with a movie that depends solely on catch-phrases like, “Do I make you horny?” Which brings us to my next point…

2) Mike Meyers was only funny in the 90s. When you think about it, singing chipmunks are high concept — they’ll always be funny, simply because they are singing chipmunks. Austin Powers, however, is the opposite of high-concept. Just like I couldn’t see what my mother saw in Flip Wilson back in the 80s, Mike Meyers was very much a product of his time. And perhaps he should stay in that time. Right now, I’m trying to figure out what I found so funny about Wayne’s repeated utterance of the word, “Schwing!” in WAYNE’S WORLD, or what was so hilarious about a bald man petting a bald cat in AUSTIN POWERS, but all I can come up with is “You had to be there.” You know, there, in the 90s.

There’s a reason that it’s hard to find reruns of BENNY HILL these days, and like old Benny, I think Austin Powers should stay in the 90s. But how about you? Are you excited or horrified about a possible fourth installment of the AUSTIN POWERS series?

In any case, I’m looking forward to Dave Chappelle signing on to do a movie version fo CHAPPELLE’S SHOW in 2021. WHAT! I said, I’m looking forward Dave Chappelle signing on to do a– WHAT! I said, I’m looking forward to … oh, wait, I get it.

[Mike Meyers Signs on for AUSTIN POWERS 4 via The Mary Sue]