Wow, that was a long title. Hello! So you may have heard that Mike Myers has been hinting at a fourth ‘Austin Powers’ movie, and while I personally am extremely excited about the possibility, I’m not so sure that it would be a film fit for this generation. Let’s talk about it.
What Are the Austin Powers Movies Exactly?
Austin Powers is a byproduct of its era, where everything that became massively successful got its own parody. Star Wars had a parody film in Spaceballs, and James Bond had a parody film (in this case, trilogy) in Austin Powers. What makes Austin Powers so special is that it wasn’t a direct parody of James Bond, or Spy/Espionage films in general, but of the time in which they were produced. Austin Powers himself, is from the “Swinging 60s” where free love was at an all-time high and every cat was down for anything man.
It was the parodic nature of Austin Powers that gave him his fame, as women of the era were swooning of the mysterious spy types, correlating them to the very image of manlihood. It was this success in knowing what your film is going to be that made it so popular, because it knew it didn’t want to be serious. It knew not to take itself seriously and to just have the audience along for the ride, and that is exactly what a parody is meant to do.
So What’s the Problem?
Due to the fact that the films were parodies of the 60s and their culture, along with Austin’s culture shock from going straight from the “Swinging 60’s” to the “Normal 90’s”, the films relied on Austin’s practices and miscommunications to get laughs. Austin’s practices, in turn, were very 60s – Hitting on every woman he sees, being laid back and hip, and having almost every idea in his mind center around his manlihood. This is where the problem lies – as in between the 60’s and 2000’s (the time in which these films were based and the time in which they were released) this was deemed as an alright practice, and even a comic practice. However, in an era where rape culture and feminism are more prominent than ever before, these ideals of Austin Powers would be shut down by these movements and proclaimed as misogynistic and degrading to women.
Not only this, but the entire premise of a parody film based on another medium is quite tired in 2018-2019, as we have seen an immense amount of films based in this genre, much more than we had in 1990. Even if the theme of Austin Powers correlated with the societal norms of this age, it would still be a tired motif and one met with little excitement other than its brand name.
Would I Like To See a New Austin Powers Film?
Absolutely. I loved the Austin Powers Trilogy. However, when you’re away from a franchise for so long, you begin to think that it was better than it actually was. That may be the case for many people who are getting excited over the discussion of a Fourth Film, especially to the majority of the females of this era. If a Fourth Austin Powers film were to release in this era, it would be met with overwhelmingly negative reviews because of its tired motif and its messages that can be portrayed as misogynistic and anti-feminist, which would attract huge controversy around the film.
Despite it being a parody, and its messages and quirks being all in good fun, these types of movements have a tendency to take everything in a film quite literally and to exacerbate dialogue and themes completely out of context of the film in order to portray it exactly how they want. What would be best for everyone is to remember that Austin Powers that captured our hearts and made us laugh during his time in theatres and in our homes on DVD and Blu-Ray. I, for one, own the Three-Film Collection on Blu-Ray and appreciate the films for what they are. They still make me laugh, I still love them, but there is no way a fourth film could survive in today’s climate.
What do you think about a fourth Austin Power’s film? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, and don’t forget to subscribe to The Bandicoot Banter website, as well as follow our social media!